Jul 09 2013

Scarred Sunbathers Event – July 14, 2013

sunbatheLocal self-harm support group, I Am Not a Shame Child is running an event at Hyde Park on Sunday July 17, 2013 for scarred sunbathers.

It’s a meetup for anyone who has self-harm, and the aim is to wear thing things that you want to wear but can’t because of scars, and to feel comfortable showing your scars.

Everyone is welcome, including supporters and carers for those that self-harm

  • Where: Meet opposite Bluebirds Boats, Hyde Park, London
  • When: July 14, 2013 from 11.00am
  • Bring:  A picnic, drinks and a blanket to stretch out on and enjoy the sun – the forecast is for a roasting weekend.

I Am Not a Shame Child is a campaign started in order to tackle mental health stigma within young people, and within families in Asian communities. The founder of the group says:

Coming from an Asian Background and having mental health issues is where it starts.  I started having problems aged 11, by my 13th birthday I had been diagnosed with mental health issues. Along with that came the discrimination. My family were confused, there is no history of mental illnesses in my family. Along with this lack of understanding and having never come across such issue meant that I was suddenly put under immense pressure to ‘stop playing up’, and ‘get better’. Since that early diagnosis till now, I have not seen that change very much.

I faced and still to this day face mental health stigma within my family. I find it incredibly difficult to address this issue, but I realise that I am far from alone, and i may not quite be ready to address this issue at home, but having volunteered with Time to Change, a nationwide campaign focusing on tackling mental health stigma, I am keen to work closer to home and work with Asian communities.

The name for this campaign came from personal experience, feeling shame over having mental health issues. Its time to rip down that thought and belief and teach the world that mental health issues don’t make us any less of a person than we are.

Scarred Sunbathers is a mass gathering for everyone who has previously self harmed or is a self harmer. The aim is to help self-harmers not feel embarrassed about wearing short sleeves, shorts and exposing scars as well as gaining some confidence within our bodies and meeting lovely people.

Those who are unaware of self harm and related issues are also more than welcomed to come along, you can show your support as well as having a fun time.

As much as I would love to provide you all with a picnic I wouldn’t be able to afford that so please do bring food, and drinks are very important especially if its a hot day.

Follow the group in Twitter as @family_shame


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  1. Linda Robinson

    I had not heard of this self harm support group, but I do know that Harrow’s really local self harm support group, Girls Xpress, is based at the WISH Centre in Wealdstone http://www.thewishcentre.org.uk. The work they do with self harmers has been invaluable to many young people. It would be nice if they got a mention on iharrow occasionally too.

  2. Linda – you’re absolutely right, and I’ve heard nothing but huge praise for the WISH Centre. I’ve already reached out to them to see if I can go along to learn more about what they do and there will be an article about them very soon. I know two local councillors are also looking to get more involved, and to start raising awareness of all the good work that the WISH Centre do for people.

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