It all began

selfharmUK was created because it is needed. selfharmUK was established in 2006 following a significant need for a dedicated self-harm project able to support young people on a national (and even international) level. Funding was secured to appoint Rachel Welch as director in early 2010, followed by Shaun Parker (Online Development) and Laura Haddow (Project Development) in 2012.

We wanted to create a safe, pro-recovery site for people to use to communicate with others and express their experiences through the use of video blogs, stories, poetry and art, and this became a reality in the latter half of 2010. The next stage of our vision was to develop a safe online support programme in which young people can engage with selfharmUK staff in real time and have a unique opportunity to explore issues around their self-harming through a 6-week course…
and so Alumina was born.

then we grew

We wanted Alumina to not only help a few people but hopefully thousands of young people from all over the UK. With that in mind, we spent many months on creating an amazing programme that not just educates but nurtures creativity and engagement. This 6 week course enables young people from all over the UK to be placed within a regular online group, and engage with real professionals in real time in order to explore the deeper issues surrounding self-harm. For some it may be the catalyst needed to reduce or stop their harming behaviour, while for others it may prove empowering, enabling them to seek support in their local area.

& developed

We weren’t happy with just the groups option, we knew that some people might not be ready for a live group so Alumina On Demand and the Alumina Book have been developed as additional resources. Alumina On Demand is very similar to our Alumina Live groups but it allows an individual to go through the course by themselves by watching 6 short videos and completing some activities once the videos have been watched. 

The Alumina book has been designed to work on both Alumina Live and On Demand but it can also be used in an offline capacity. The book has been written by selfharmUK'S Rachel Welch & Shaun Parker, who are experienced in their fields and passionate about finding creative ways of engaging with both young people and professionals.

& continue our journey

Ultimately, we want to work towards lifting the taboo of self-harm, to reduce the stigma that still exists, and make the road back to full health a little easier for those who are affected. For now, selfharmUK remains part of Youthscape as a separate element of this registered charity. If you are a parent, professional and would like more information about Alumina please feel free to email us at

For details of our unique training packages, please email

Thank you for joining us on our journey…

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