Throughout November, we have been running a funding campaign encouraging people to give £4 for young people, for change in their lives.

Here is the final instalment of our campaign.

Week 4:
Over the past few weeks we have heard more about the issue of self-harm, we have heard how it impacts hundreds of young people here in Hitchin and we have heard what Phase are doing to combat this problem. This week we will hear about the difference the work of Phase and the self-harm support team is having on young people in our town.

In the past 6 months Phase has run many self-harm support courses giving young people the tools, support and knowledge to live a life without self-harm. Phase has seen the frequency of self-harm in these young people decrease, seen their understanding of themselves and their emotions improve and every young people has expressed that the quality of their life has improved having been through the course.

As well as this, Phase has produced a fantastic video, assembly and lesson called ‘Let’s talk’ that encourage all young people to communicate about how they are feeling, so that the cycle of self-harm does not begin. It has been watched by thousands of students in the schools and by people all over the UK.

Story:
Michelle is full of ideas and witty remarks, a real quick thinker, but the pressures of growing up and her lack of confidence saw her gradually become more and more withdrawn. In fact, Michelle often refuses to speak to anyone for days at a time. This all began her journey to self-harming but Michelle found it to painful a topic for her to address. Michelle needed support but joining one of the Phase support groups was too much for her. So instead of leaving Michelle to struggle on her own, a member of the team meets with Michelle for 1:1 mentoring.
Before this Michelle had walked out of every other intervention. There are still sessions where Michelle can’t talk about the difficult stuff, but now she will choose to sit in the room even in the silence, choosing to trust that somebody wants to sit with her.

Stats on self-harm:
• The common onset age for self-harm is 11 years old, that means children currently in year 6
• 43% of 15 year olds who self-harm said that they do so at least once a month, that is 120 15 year olds in Hitchin

For Phase to provide 1:1 support to young people like Michelle they need to raise £15,000 –you can help them to do this by donating just £4.
What does £4 buy you? Two small coffees from a shop, a couple of large chocolate bars, 4-5 apps on your phone, a few music singles, a magazine or a newspaper over a couple days. £4 is not much, but what will it buy for Phase?
£4 will provide the self-harm support course handbook for a young person, £4 per month provides 1:1 support for a young person going through the struggles of self-harm, or a lesson for 30 young people on how to stay mentally healthy.

Prayer:
Lord we bring to you anyone dealing with the issue of self-harm in their lives.

We ask for your love to surround those themselves that are struggling as well as their friends, family and carers and professionals supporting them.

We pray that there can be a sense of peace for those that feel unable to cope with their emotions or circumstances and we ask for healing in their lives, relationships, hearts and minds so that they can know their worth and potential.

We ask lord that you can break the chains that hold people to destructive addictions and that they can come to you with all their pain and brokenness.

We pray for courage for those that are struggling. Courage to ask for help, talk to people about how they feel and to face and challenge difficult things and resist the urges to harm themselves.

We ask lord for the right support to be available to those that are struggling and that the obstacles of stigmas and misunderstandings around the issue do not make people feel isolated or unable to access help and support.

We pray for those left with scars and ask that they are able to see healing rather than hurt.

We ask you to be with those supporting loved ones who are struggling, may they be patient and know your love for them and that your hand is over their situation. For those on the journey to recovery we ask for strength to continue the fight and to continue being the living, breathing example that you bring freedom and peace to the most trapped and broken hearts. Amen.

If you would like to support this work then it is very easy, you can text: MAKE05 £5 to 70070 right now, however, the best way to support Phase, to help them make a lasting impact and to see the issue of self-harm in Hitchin decrease is to sign up to become a Partner, £4 per month will provide the support these young people need.