Battle Scars and the FRESH project
Who are Battle Scars
- Battle Scars is a Leeds-based charity offering support to anybody affected by self-harm.
- Everybody working for Battle Scars has lived experience of self-harm, in other words, every single member of staff and every volunteer has used or is using self-harm to manage life.
What is the FRESH project?
- FRESH stands for Follow-up Review after Emergency treatment of Self-Harm.
- You need to have attended A&E or an Urgent Treatment Centre/Minor Injuries Unit to get medical assistance for your self-harm.
- Whether you’ve cut, hit, burned yourself, self-poisoned, took an overdose etc. you can be referred to talk about what’s going on for you with a peer support worker.
- FRESH is NOT a crisis service.
How do I access the FRESH service
If the staff at A&E/Emergency Department or at the Urgent Treatment Centre/Minor Injuries Unit did not refer you, your GP surgery can. You just need to respond to their offer.
What happens after referral
- A peer support worker, someone with their own lived experience of self-harm, will ring you the next working day after Battle Scars have received the referral.
- Phone calls take place Monday to Friday, 11 am to 6 pm depending on peer support worker availability.
- The call will come from a private number so please answer it.
- Battle Scars will make a few attempts to contact you over 2-3 days but if they do not manage to speak to you, they will let the referrer know.
How much will Battle Scars know about me
- Battle Scars will get your name, age, phone number and first part of your postcode.
- They will also need to know when you needed medical assistance and what method of self-harm you used.
- The referrer will pass on other information with your consent, such as whether you have autism, if this is the first time you self-harmed, specific times to ring, if you need an extra day between referral and phone-call etc.
What happens during the call
- The call can last for up to 50 minutes.
- It’s an opportunity to use this safe space to talk openly about your self-harm without pressure to go into any detail, to help you process what’s happening in your life, to talk about whatever you want to talk about.
- The peer worker will work with you with sensitivity and compassion, going at your own pace.
- They will provide you with more information on other Battle Scars services, suggestions on how to manage your self-harm, awareness of other useful services, reassurance you’re not alone or they will just listen if that’s what you need.
Will the referrer be told about my conversation with Battle Scars
- Battle Scars will not share the conversation with the referrer.
- If the Battle Scars support worker has serious concerns, they will encourage you to seek help or provide them with your location so they can call emergency services. Battle Scars do not have your address unless you give it to them. Such an incident will be reported back to the referrer.
Can I self-refer to FRESH
- You can be referred by the A&E department, Urgent Treatment Centre/Minor Injuries Unit or by your GP surgery
- There is a limit to how many times you can be referred.
- For ongoing support you can access the various Battle Scars services. You can self-refer for the virtual groups or simply drop in at one of the f2f groups, use the online support and access the resources.