If you’re looking for a way to reduce self-harm behavior, Calm Harm is a great resource. It’s free, user-friendly, and non-judgmental.
When you first go into the app, you can choose the aesthetic that is most pleasing or calming for you. You can also set up a passcode – although the app does not request a lot of personal information, it does have a journal feature to help users track their urges. Some users might want to ensure that family members, friends, et cetera, are not accessing the account without their permission.
Calm Harm opens with education about self-harm urges. When users are having an urge to engage in a self-harm behavior, the app encourages them to choose an activity to “ride the wave” until the urge passes.
Depending on needs and preferences, you can choose whether you want to ride a five-minute wave or a 15-minute wave. You are prompted to choose the length each time, so you can opt for longer waves if the urge is more intense or shorter waves if you are in a hurry. There are several adorable categories to choose from. Again, choose what activities work best for you and what you are feeling in the moment.
When you choose which type of activity you’d like to do, the app gives you a list of options to choose from. Once you choose your activity, it counts down the time and walks you through the exercise to help you stay engaged. Afterwards, you’re prompted with a survey that asks how strong the urge was, whether the activity helped, and what triggered the urge. It then provides education about triggers for self-harm based on your answers and reminds you of resources you can reach out to if you need to speak to a real person.
This is one of the apps that I most frequently reference in my practice, especially with teens who want to reduce self-harm behavior. It provides good educational information and encourages making a different choice without blaming or shaming the user for needing help, and you can use it from anywhere.
Although it speaks specifically to self-harm behavior, these mindfulness and grounding techniques can be helpful for anxiety, panic, or any other mental health concern. Try it today!