Calm Harm app tackles the urge to self-harm

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Countdown: The Calm Harm app helps users to manage self-injurious behaviours

An NHS-approved app created to combat the urge to self-harm has been downloaded more than 124,000 times.

The downloads of the free Calm Harm app have been made during the last 18 months and four out of five have been made by young women aged 10 to 23.

The latest NHS statistics show that 15 per cent of 17 to 19-year-olds and 5.5 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds have self-harmed or made a suicide attempt.

The app has been created by London charity stem4, which is dedicated to supporting teenage mental health. It is the brainchild of the charity’s founder, consultant clinical psychologist Dr Nihara Krause, who was concerned that young people at risk of self-harm were accessing unsafe information online.

Calm Harm is based on clinical evidence and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy – which is shown to be effective in managing emotions. The app offers a selection of tasks with a countdown to help manage self-injurious behaviours caused by the difficulties that are experienced in mood expression or regulation.

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