We consider individuals who are not actively self-harming but who are having thoughts or urges to not be in immediate crisis. It is okay to talk about self-harm ideation with a listener. Self harm is a sign of emotional distress. In many cases it is because the individual cannot tolerate the emotions they are experiencing or they are unable to express those feelings. The intention of self-harming is to distract oneself, not to end one's life. At 7 Cups we consider it to be an unhealthy coping mechanism, much like substance abuse.
Suicidal ideation may seem harmless, but it can quickly escalate into a crisis situation. Volunteer listeners are not equipped to differentiate or know the signs of when a passive thought starts to sound like a possible action. This is why we do not support any discussion of suicidal ideation. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts we encourage you to reach out to a trusted and known human, a crisis line, or a licensed mental health professional.