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Understanding and Addressing Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Adolescents and Young Adults

Rates of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) are high in community populations of adolescents and young adults. Despite its prevalence, NSSI often goes undetected by parents, school official and medical and mental health professionals. Although most often undertaken without suicidal intent, NSSI is potent risk factor for suicidality and can be frightening for those unfamiliar with its function in community populations of youth.

This OnDemand Webinar is intended to help youth serving, clinical, and medical professionals understand basic NSSI epidemiology, contagion factors, and intervention strategies. It will emphasize the relationship between NSSI and suicide, common treatment approaches, and basic guidelines for detecting NSSI and productively intervening. NSSI is often hidden and is a source of shame for youth who habitually self-injure so early intervention strategies and use of respectful curiosity are key in productively addressing underlying distress. This program is critical for professionals who work with youth or their parents with little or some knowledge of NSSI.

Learning Objectives:
•You will be able to identify prevalence and key demographic trends.
•You will be able to discuss NSSI in secondary school and institutional settings.
•You will be able to review detection, intervention and prevention.



Janis Whitlock, Ph.D.

Janis Whitlock, Ph.D.

Cornell University

  • Research scientist in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR)
  • Founder and director of the Cornell research program on self-injurious behavior in young adults
  • Co-founder and past president of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS)
  • Research featured in major media outlets such as Good Morning America, The Early Show and The New York Times
  • Research focus: NSSI, suicide prevention, resilience, and connectedness in adolescent and young adult populations
  • Conducts regular seminars and workshops on numerous topics related to adolescent development, NSSI epidemiology and contagion, early intervention and prevention of NSSI and suicide, family and community strategies for enhancing youth resilience and wellbeing
  • Writer of several publications related to the areas of NSSI, connectedness, suicide prevention
  • Member and past president of the ISSS, the Society for Research on Adolescence, and the American Psychological Association
  • Ph.D. degree in developmental psychology, Cornell University; masters degree in public health, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Can be contacted at 607-254-2894 or [email protected]

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