PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to describe help from the viewpoint of self-mutilating Finnish adolescents.
METHODS: Methodological triangulation was used in data collection. Written descriptions were provided by 62 self-mutilating adolescents (aged 12–21 years) of the help they received and wished to receive, and individual interviews were conducted with 10 self-mutilating adolescents (aged 15–22 years). Qualitative content analysis was applied.
FINDINGS: Three groups of people that can be of help were identified by the self-mutilating adolescents: age-mates, including peers and fellow self-mutilating adolescents; loved ones; and adults, including unknown adults, health and social care professionals, teachers and school counsellors, and parents. Factors contributing and hindering to help were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: Self-mutilating adolescents want to be helped and, in their opinion, adults are duty-bound to help and care for them.