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education.com asks:
Q:

My niece is cutting and I'm unsure how to handle this situation. Please help.

"I recently found out my niece is cutting her self. Her best friend told the school counselor who informed my sister. When approached my niece admits to cutting herself.  The reason is because she can not have the thing her friends do, or go where they do because of my family economic situation. My sister loves my niece, but they have never had a close relationship. My sister and niece live with my parents, which has provide my niece with a strong loving support system. We don't agree with the way my sister is handling the situation, example she take away her phone and wants her to move to Arizona with her dad. We know my niece needs counseling, but my sister has no insurance or money to provide her with it. I am unsure how to handle this situation? Please help thank you."

Asked by Abby after reading the article, "Cutting and Self-Injury":
http://www.education.com/magazine/column/entry/...
In Topics: Physical Health, Teen issues, Cutting
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Dec 4, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

This is the time for you to seek help and information for your niece and sister through local community health systems.  Call you local hospital and ask for the community relations department and ask what is available in your town for this situation.  Many local mental health centers are available for family counseling and care.  It is best to try your county hospital since they are less likely to charge and accept a sliding scale of payment.

Everybody needs advocates and good for you for doing so. Remember, however, she is not your daughter, and these decisions will be made by her mother and father.

Keep trying.

lWayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
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Additional Answers (3)

scene_queen
scene_queen writes:
hello im marie i may be avaliable to help u. i use to cut bc family issues. to help her u need to open up to her. tell her shes to beautiful to cut herself and she doesnt need to do that. ym frand had the same problem and nearly killld herself she was in a hospital for 5 days. now dnt take her to a doctor or anything unless she actually starts trying suicide. or cuts to deep then u need proffessional help if its just a scratch or a lil deep its not a big deal just a stage they go through. maybe its sum of her frands that shes with is the bad influence, but whatever u do do not punnish her that makes her wnna do it more just sit and chat with her become clost to her she will reall like it :)\
                                           marie*
> 60 days ago

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jadenmccoy
jadenmccoy , Student writes:
I am not an expert but i do have a history f cutting and what your niece needs is some counseling as well as family therapy. You said that your sister basically has money problems. If thats the case then go to your local social security or department of public welfare  and apply for medical assistance which will cover some counseling. Punishing the cutter is not going to help her case. It will only make it worse. Maybe your niece and her mom need to sit down and have a heart to heart.
> 60 days ago

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haileycolt
haileycolt writes:
i am sorry to hear about this but their really isnt much you can do, self-harm is an addiction and if she doesn't want to quite you cant make her she has to quite for herself. the best thing you can do is provide her with a loving environment and introduce her ti a blogging site like tumblr where she can interact with other people, including people who also have self-harm issues because then she will have a support system who understands what she is going through. if she does a blog on tumblr though do not stalk her blog she needs a place where parents and family are not going to stalk her every move she needs a safe haven where people will understand her and she will find that there are people out there going through the same stuff and she will find the help she needs.
> 60 days ago

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