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Self-Injury Awareness Day

Self-Injury Awareness Day (SIAD) is a global event held annually on March 1. Its purpose is to remove the stigma attached to self-injury and to encourage parents, family members, educators, and healthcare professionals to recognize the signs of self-harm.

Sad teenager on a bridge.
Self-injury is a disorder that is caused by other underlying mental factors.
Self-injury is a disorder that is caused by other underlying mental factors.
©bigstockphoto.com/AntonioGuillem

March is Self-Injury Awareness Month in the United States and Canada.

Inflicting Tissue Damage

Medically, self-injury is defined as intentionally inflicting damage on one's body tissue in ways that are non-suicidal and are not sanctioned by the culture or society. Such acts can include cutting with sharp instruments, burning one's skin, banging limbs on hard surfaces, scratching one's skin, and breaking one's bones.

Self-injury can occur on any part of the body, though the arms, wrists, thighs, and the stomach are the most common areas where people inflict self-harm.

A Young Adult Issue

Self-injury is a disorder that can present itself at any age, though it most commonly occurs during adolescence and young adulthood. Women are thought to be more likely to self-mutilate than men.

Studies have shown that people who may have depression, eating disorders, or a substance-abuse problem are also more vulnerable to self-harm. Sexual, physical, and emotional abuse can also increase the risk of self-mutilation.

Non-Judgemental Support

While self-harm itself is not a suicidal act, if the underlying cause of self-harm persists, it may lead to suicidal behavior. Because of this, it is essential for family members, friends, educators, and medical professionals to recognize the signs of self-mutilation and help the individual cope with the underlying causes of the self-injury. Experts suggest that those who self-harm require non-judgemental support and treatment.

What Happens on Self-Injury Awareness Day

Self-Injury Awareness Day is not an official holiday, so businesses, schools, and government offices are open. Educators, medical professionals, and policy-makers organize conferences and workshops to focus the public's attention on how to identify the signs of self-injury and outline ways to help those who self-harm. The day also encourages people to open up about their self-harming behavior and to talk about how they coped with it. People supporting the cause wear an orange ribbon.

Self-Injury Awareness Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
MonMar 12010Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
TueMar 12011Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
ThuMar 12012Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
FriMar 12013Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
SatMar 12014Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
SunMar 12015Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
TueMar 12016Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
WedMar 12017Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
ThuMar 12018Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
FriMar 12019Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 
SunMar 12020Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance 

Quick Facts

Self-Injury Awareness Day 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Self-Injury Awareness Day 2017

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Self-Injury Awareness DayEnglish
Dia de la Concientización sobre la AutolesionSpanish
יום מודעות פגיעה עצמיתHebrew
يوم الوعي بإيذاء النفسArabic
자기 부상 인식의 날Korean
Verdensdagen mot selvskadingNorwegian
Tag der Aufmerksamkeit für Selbstverletzendes VerhaltenGerman

List of dates for other years

United Nation Holiday on March 1, 2016

Fun Holidays on March 1, 2016

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