This year’s conference is aimed at healthcare professionals, social care and education providers, as well as parents, carers, policy makers and influencers. The theme of the conference is ‘understanding self-harm’.
A recent study by Long (2018) examined the negative impact felt when self-harm is misunderstood. It was found that the stigma associated with self-harm both at a cultural and media level, can greatly influence a young person’s self-perception, increasing their self-harming behaviour and reducing the likelihood that they will seek the necessary help.
The same study also found that those who work with people who engage in self-harm may be driven by fear and the need to act quickly, which may not get to the heart of the issues that clients are facing (Long, 2018*). Such studies highlight the need to better understand and destigmatize self-harm.
As part of the conference, three workshops focusing on three specific themes about understanding self-harm will be held. These will be held in parallel sessions and there will also be soapbox groups, whereby attendees will be able to share their thoughts about self-harm and any issues/discussions raised during the day. Attendees can register for the workshops during registration on the day.