Calm Harm App Helps Teens Cope with Urges to Self-Harm

This post generally discusses self-harm and suicide prevention.

As a therapist, I know that some people live with periodic thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation. It’s a topic that doesn’t get a lot of mainstream attention, likely due to how dark the subject matter is and how it forces many of us to come face-to-face with our feelings around mortality.

Often, thoughts of suicide and self-harm are characteristics associated with a diagnosed mental health condition, however that is not always the case. There can be a variety of circumstances that may lead someone to consider self-injurious behavior. Most often, however, it involves seeking relief from overwhelming negative emotions.

Self-harm is not a healthy choice and that is likely why Dr. Krause worked with developers to create Calm Harm app which helps those with thoughts of self-harm to practice healthier coping behaviors.

This UK-based app not only provides concrete, in the moment strategies to cope with urges to self-harm but also gives the user an opportunity to track their moods over time. This Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) based app is easy to use and can help reduce urges in the moment. It also provides resources within the app for those who may need further support.

Users can choose between four tracks to help them battle self-harm urges in the moment:

  • Comfort – which helps a person use care-taking skills
  • Distract – helps practice self-control by temporarily focusing on something other than the current thoughts of harm
  • Express – helps a person express difficult thoughts or feelings & connect with more balanced feelings
  • Release – otherwise provides safe alternative to self-injury



Calm Harm app is available for download for on Google Play and the iTunes store.