Self-harm Intervention Programme

What is the Self-harm Intervention Programme (SHIP)?

SHIP provides people who self-harm with quick access to support and counselling to help deal with the issues that are causing distress. It teaches people new ways of coping with problems.

Who is it for?

SHIP is suitable for people who have self-harmed and have personal or social problems that are causing distress, but who do not need ongoing care by the mental health services in their local Health and Social Care Trust. Before you are referred to SHIP, your needs will be assessed to make sure this is the right service for you. SHIP also offers a short period of education and support to people who care for someone who self-harms (eg a parent, partner or friend).

Who provides the service?

SHIP is provided by a network of counselling organisations that work in partnership with your GP and local health services. These organisations are listed in the table opposite. The experienced counsellors work to professional standards and are highly skilled.

Where is the service provided?

SHIP is provided at a range of locations within each of the five Trust areas, so it’s available to anyone who needs it. Help is usually offered at the premises of a voluntary sector organisation within your local Trust area.

If I am interested, what happens next?

 If you or a family member is interested in this service, your contact details will be passed on to the relevant counselling organisation.

  • You will be contacted by phone within 48 hours to arrange an appointment.
  • You will usually be offered an appointment within a week.
  • Family members or carers will usually be offered an appointment within two weeks.

Can I have more time to think about using SHIP?

If you are interested in SHIP but not sure about using it, we can still pass on your details to the service, if you agree. Someone will phone you and you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns and ask questions. You can then decide whether or not you want to use the service.

Is it possible for a parent/carer/friend to get support even if I don’t want counselling?

Yes, even if you don’t want counselling, someone else close to you can get some support. Please discuss this with the staff member who gave you this leaflet and they will arrange it.

Have a talk about the situation with your parent/carer/friend first. The necessary support can also be arranged by their GP. It might be useful to show this leaflet to the GP.

SHIP will not share any of your personal information, but will give your parent/carer/friend advice on how they can help you and how they can cope better themselves.

What should I do if I feel like harming myself or ending my own life?

You should contact your GP or the ‘out-of-hours’ GP immediately (see numbers below). If you have difficulty reaching a GP, you can attend a hospital Emergency Department, or ring 999 or 112 if you or someone else is at immediate risk.

Useful numbers:

Lifeline – 24 hour crisis response helpline 0808 808 8000
Samaritans (listening ear) 116 123
Childline 0800 1111

SHIP Co-ordinator:

Name: Conor McCafferty
Company: Zest
Address: 15a Queen Street, L’derry, BT48 7EQ
Tel. No: 028 71 266 999


Make a Donation

Every year Zest helps over 700 people from 11 years of age and upwards in the Western area, through individual counselling, support for family and friends and complementary therapies.

Every penny counts, and we are thankful to our donors.


Our Funders

HSC Public Health Agency / Big Lottery Fund

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council WebsiteNI