Frequently Asked Questions
- What's Sirius Project all about?
- What's in the different sections of the site?
- Why the focus on self-help? Don't people who injure themselves need to see a professional?
- Where can I find out more about the forums?
- Why does your site contain so many CBT and DBT resources? What about other kinds of therapy?
- Who runs Sirius Project? Where is the site based?
- Who are the authors of the articles?
- I know of a great resource that's not listed here - can you add it?
- How did the site get started?
- Where does the name come from?
- How is Sirius Project funded?
- How do I make a donation?
- What's your advertising policy?
Sirius Project is a collection of resources for people who self-injure, with an emphasis on self-help. That doesn't mean going it alone without appropriate professional support - it means anything you can do to improve your situation, from learning healthier coping skills to getting proactive about treatment.
We believe self-harm is a coping mechanism and often a symptom of deeper problems. Rather than focusing on "just stopping", we provide information on different ways of coping and how to address the issues that caused the self-harm in the first place. We also offer support and encouragement from recovered and recovering self-injurers who understand.
As well as our own forums and articles, we also include a lot of links to other sites. Our aim is to find the best self-harm and mental-health resources on the net so that you don't have to.
We think we're pretty unique as a site for several reasons:
- We are a site for people who want to recover from self-harm and related problems.
- We look beyond self-harm itself and at the issues behind it, such as depression or childhood trauma.
- We focus on things you can do to help yourself.
- We include lots of links to other resources, and the site is frequently updated. Whenever we come across a great resource, we add it to the collection so you can find everything you need in one place.
If you're not sure what we mean by "self-harm" and "self-injury", take a look at our Info section.
The resources on Sirius Project are divided between six sections:
Info & Staying Safe - Information on self-harm and related issues, from associated mental health problems to the UK benefits system. Includes first aid, reducing the risks, and where to turn if you feel suicidal.
Getting Help - Information on types of professional help, such as counselling and medication, and how to access them in the UK.
Stopping Self-Harm - For anyone who wants to reduce how often or how badly they hurt themselves. Includes alternatives to self-harm, understanding why you do it, how to reduce the temptation, and coping with relapse.
Mental Health - How to improve your mental health in general, mainly based on CBT and DBT. This section is for anyone who wants to feel better in themselves, whether or not you feel ready to give up self-harm.
Shop - A wide range of self-harm and mental health books, as well as ideas for distracting yourself, relaxing, raising awareness and more.
Forums - A place to support each other, set goals, cheer each other on and share resources and ideas that have helped.
For a more detailed guide to the contents of this site, see our Site Map.
Yes, we agree that many people who self-injure would benefit from some professional help.
Unfortunately, it's not always that simple. Many people who self-harm have become disillusioned with mental health services, finding that they aren't listened to or the treatments offered aren't helpful. Others may be stuck on a long waiting list for counselling or therapy, or be unwilling to seek help because of confidentiality concerns.
Sirius Project tries to address this. We use the word "self-help" in its widest sense, meaning anything a person can do to help themselves - including finding appropriate treatment. We provide information on the different types of help available, how to access them and how to resolve concerns, so that people who self-harm can take control of their own recovery. We also provide support and details of self-help techniques which anyone can use.
The information and resources on this site are intended to complement appropriate professional help, not replace it.
The Sirius Project Forums are an online peer-support community for people who are trying to overcome self-harm. We exist so that people in this situation can offer support to one another, and share ideas and resources that have helped them. We don't just focus on simply stopping self-harm, but on finding alternative ways to cope, and on tackling the issues that caused or lead up to the self-harm in the first place.
The following pages provide more information about the forums:
Sirius Project does not advocate one kind of therapy over another. The most important thing is to find an approach that works for you and a counsellor or therapist you feel comfortable with. You might want to ask your doctor's advice or look at the information on our Treatment page (which covers many different types of therapy) when making your decision. CBT is very popular in the NHS at the moment but that does not mean it will be the right approach for everyone.
However, because CBT and DBT teach techniques like coping skills or how to change the way you think, they can also be used as a form of self-help. If you look in our shop or at our Improving Mental Health page, you will see that lots of self-help books and programmes based on CBT and DBT techniques already exist. There are not many for other types of therapy which do not teach specific skills.
In other words, the reason there are so many CBT and DBT resources here is because Sirius Project is a self-help site and those approaches lend themselves well to self-help. If you don't feel CBT or DBT are right for you, you are still very welcome in our forums, and you might want to look at our Getting Help section for details of other types of therapy and how to access them.
Sirius Project is based in the UK, although we have forum members from all round the world. The site was founded by Lirael (aka "moon tree"), a recovered self-injurer who has been free from self-harm for nearly five years now. The forums are run by a team of volunteers who have all either overcome self-harm, or are working on recovery. Lirael is not a mental health professional, and nor are any of our forum moderators or administrators.
Unless otherwise stated, all the articles on this site are written and updated by Lirael, a recovered self-injurer. Lirael is not a mental health professional.
We welcome suggestions of resources to add, whether it's your own resource or just something you've found helpful. If you'd like to , please note the following:
- As a general rule, we only link to self-harm and mental-health resources.
- We do not link to websites which promote self-harm or other destructive behaviours, or which contain graphic pictures.
- Forums and chat rooms must be moderated and active (receiving at least some new posts on most days).
- If you're recommending an organisation which does not have its own website, please include full contact details. If you're recommending a book, a link to its page on Amazon.co.uk (or any website which sells it) would be helpful.
- If you'd like to write an article for the site, we recommend you with your idea first, so we can make sure it's suitable and give you referencing guidelines.
- We cannot promise to include every resource which meets these criteria. We're most interested in resources which offer something new that's not already provided by other resources on the site.
Back in 2002, I was a member of a self-harm forum called MFME. Although the site was unmoderated and not focused on recovery, it was a wonderfully supportive place where I met some fabulous people, many of whom are still close friends today.
After some treatment for depression, I began to feel ready to try to stop self-harming. I looked around to see if there were any forums for people who wanted to stop, but I could not find anywhere I liked. I wanted somewhere as warm and supportive as MFME, which focused on the reasons behind self-harm as much as the behaviour itself, and which did not just tell members to "get therapy" (not an option for me at the time, as I was stuck on an NHS waiting list and could not afford to go private). At the same time, I had found a lot of useful information on the internet, regularly posted links on MFME, and thought it would be great to gather those resources together in one place.
I set up Sirius Project in 2003. What started as an Ezboard forum and a small collection of links has now grown into quite a large website as I and others have added many resources we have found useful over the years.
MFME is sadly no more, but a lot of old MFME members still post on our forums, or can be found through our Facebook group (available to long-term forum members only).
SIRIUS stands for Self-Injury Resources, Information, Understanding and Support. It's also the brightest star in the night sky.
Sirius Project receives three sources of funding:
- Donations from forum members and website visitors.
- We earn a small commission (5% to 7.5%) on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com products sold through our shop.
- The rest is paid for by the webmaster out of her own pocket.
It currently costs about £10/$20 a month to run Sirius Project. If you'd like to make a donation by credit or debit card, click on the PayPal Donate button which can be found at the bottom of every page.
If you'd like to donate in another way (e.g. by cheque), please .
Thanks for your support! You can also help Sirius Project financially by buying products through our shop.
Sirius Project does not host advertising of any kind, nor do we receive any funding from the display of advertising or third-party commercial content.
We do display banners with details of products in our shop, which is run jointly with Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. These products are sold by Amazon, with Sirius Project earning a commission of 5% to 7.5%. However, the products have been chosen by us in the same way we choose to link to other resources elsewhere on the site, and we do not receive any other money from Amazon. We only include books and products which we believe may be of interest to people recovering from self-harm and related mental health issues.
When you visit Sirius Project, information about you may be collected under four circumstances:
- if you contact us by email
- if you make a donation
- if you visit, register with or use our forums
- by Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com if you visit our shop
Any information we receive from you when you email us, including your name, email address and the contact of your message, is kept confidential and viewable only by our webmaster. Her email account is password protected and no one else has access to it.
Your email address may be used to send you updates about Sirius Project, but you can opt out of these at any time by letting us know.
Unless you request it, we will not disclose your information to anyone else, except as required by law.
If you make a donation, any information we receive from you will only be used as described above under "email contact".
When you visit or use our forums, your information is collected in two ways. Firstly, browsing the forums will cause the phpBB software to create a number of cookies, which are small text files that are downloaded to your web browser's temporary files. The first two cookies just contain a user identifier and an anonymous session identifier, automatically assigned to you by the phpBB software. A third cookie will be created once you have browsed topics within the forums and is used to store which topics have been read, improving your user experience.
The second way in which we collect your information is by what you submit to us. This includes information provided when registering with the forums ("your account") and posts submitted by you after registration and while logged in ("your posts").
At a bare minimum, your account will contain a uniquely identifiable name ("your user name"), a personal password used for logging into your account ("your password") and a personal, valid email address ("your email"). It will also include any other information provided by you during the registration process or when editing your profile. Your account information is recorded in our database, which only we have access to, and protected by data protection laws applicable in the United Kingdom. You have the option of what information from your account is publicly displayed in the forums.
If you choose to provide information about how you found Sirius Project during the registration, this will be stored separately from your account and used anonymously for our own statistics.
Your password is ciphered (a one-way hash) so that it is secure. However, it is recommended that you do not reuse the same password across a number of different websites. Your password is the means of accessing your forum account, so please guard it carefully. Under no circumstance will anyone affiliated with Sirius Project Forums, phpBB or another third party legitimately ask you for your password. Should you forget your password for your account, you can use the "I forgot my password" feature provided by the phpBB software. This process will ask you to submit your user name and your email, then the phpBB software will generate a new password to reclaim your account.
Your email address may be used to send you updates about Sirius Project, but you can opt out of these at any time by letting us know. Within your forum account, you also have the option to opt in or opt out of automatically generated emails from the phpBB software.
Your posts can be read and their content used by anyone who registers with the forums and has access to the forum in which you posted. However, all members are asked to respect others' privacy; see the forum rules for more details. If you are logged into the forums, this post in Notes & Queries explains who has access to the different areas of the board. You can modify your posts at any time by clicking on the "edit" button, but you cannot delete them entirely.
Private messages (PMs) can only be read by the sender and the recipient. However, if you break the forum rules in a private message, the recipient may forward it to a moderator or an administrator. Also, if you PM a moderator or administrator about a forum issue (for example, because you are having technical problems or you wish to report another member) they may share that information with other moderators and administrators in order to be able to help you.
We will not disclose your account information or your posts to anyone else, except as required by law.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com may collect information about you when you visit or purchase products from our shop. Sirius Project
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