We’re glad you asked! Heads Above The Waves (or HATW as we sometimes call ourselves) is a not for profit organisation that supports young people who are struggling with self-harm and their mental well-being.
We do this through sharing positive coping techniques that work for us and for others. We want to break down the stigma around self-harm and talking about your mental health. We want people to know that they aren’t alone and that they can get through the bad days.
We have a website where we share blog posts, helplines and coping techniques. HATW sells merch online and in our shop in Cardiff that funds our work, but also that can be used as a starting point to talk about your mental health/ can be used as part of a coping technique like our drumsticks or our positive planners.
We run workshops in secondary schools, teacher training sessions, parent support sessions, PSE days, and we even have digital workshops (find out more about all of our workshops here!. We also advocate for young people, conduct research and try to affect policy change for the better.
We currently operate in Cardiff, South Wales. Our office and shop space are in Cardiff and we run our in person workshops across South Wales and the Bristol/ Bath/ Gloucester area. However anyone anywhere can access our website, our social media and our digital workshops!
We’re firm believers that what works for one person won’t work for everyone. We’ve tried to pull together a whole bunch of different experiences and coping techniques from people that have been in touch with us, but there are still loads of other ideas out there that we haven’t come across yet.
Keep on trying new things until you find what works for you. Just remember, it doesn’t always have to be something hugely creative and wild – it could be something simple you already do, or used to do, to make you feel happier.
The other thing to remember is that if you’re dealing with self-harm issues, you’ve got to be ready and willing to stop – Heads Above The Waves can’t force you to stop, neither can your friends or family. What we can do is support you and inform you of more positive alternatives, to help you reach that important decision for yourse
With everything we do – from our online content to our workshops in person – we always believe that you’re the only one able to make the decision to stop self-harming. We’re not here to make you do anything. We simply present you with the fact that there are more positive ways of coping with what life throws at you, and that other people have come through the other side of where you are now.
We’re also not a helpline or support service ourselves – we can point you in the direction of the awesome companies that can be there when you need them.
You’re the only one who can reach the decision that you’re ready to stop self-harming. Don’t beat yourself up if you relapse, or if it takes time to get to where you want to be.
There are all sorts of ways to help us out! The best things you can do are pick up some merch from our store and shout about us on social media.
@headsabovethewaves on everything / @hatw_uk on Twitter
If you’d like to sign up to be one of our volunteers for various events and campaigns, then head over to our volunteers page, give us your details, and we’ll be in touch!
And of course, if you’re able to make a donation, that would help us keep on running, and do more good stuff for young people who need support.
Right now, no we’re not a registered charity. We’re a Community Interest Company, registered in England and Wales with company number 9534155. We’ve sought lot’s of advice over the years from the third sector council and other charitable organisations and for us this feels like the right type of community focused institution we want to be.
Basically, being a CIC means we’re a legal company but that all the money we make goes towards helping the community, rather than us keeping any profit. If you’re interested in finding out more about us, read our About Us page.
While we don’t take a profit, we still need to make a living, so that we can keep on doing what we do. We apply for grants from larger charities and organisations to help us create our content and literature, but we still need help from people like you to keep putting our time and effort into something so important.
For a full breakdown of where the money goes in Heads Above The Waves, take a look at Where Your Money Goes.
If you’re interested in our in-person workshops, we currently only deliver these through your school, college or youth group. If you’d like us to deliver a set of workshops to your school or organisation, then please contact us.
Exciting news, we now offer digital workshops! So regardless of where you are or what day or time it is you can access on online video version of our in school sessions! Excellent! These have been designed for you to watch at home on your own and cover much of the same content but without the chatty group setting. We recommend these for anyone not in education, anyone who might feel a bit overwhelmed talking about mental health in a group setting, or for someone who would just prefer to engage with HATW in your own time at home.
Due to the nature of our work, and our child safety policy, we don’t currently don’t allow people to sit in and observe our sessions running. But in the future we hope to be able to expand our workshop staff team so it’s always worth getting in touch for a chat if helping with our workshops is something that interests you!
We’re Heads Above The Waves! Our name means a lot to us as it really poetically sums up what we’re trying to do- keep our heads above those waves or issues that come your way in life. It’s all about refusing to sink. And being a life ring for others who need it most.
If you’ve got a question, or want to know some more about what we do, we’d love to hear from you!