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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.

Is Self-Injury Awareness Day a Public Holiday?

Self-Injury Awareness Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Sad teenager on a bridge.

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010MonMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2011TueMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2012ThuMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2013FriMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2014SatMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2015SunMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2016TueMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2017WedMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2018ThuMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2019FriMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance
2020SunMar 1Self-Injury Awareness DayWorldwide observance

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