THE BODY AS A VOICE: Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in the School Context


The Body as a Voice

Non-suicidal Self-Injury in the School Context

Presented by Dr. Madeline Wishart

Why do young people self-injure? The urge to cut, scratch, rub, tear and burn our skin seems in direct contrast to our innate instincts of self-preservation and survival. Yet, nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a significant physical and mental health concern affecting adolescents, with an estimated lifetime prevalence in Australia of 8.1% over individuals over the age of 10 years (Martin, Swannell, Harrison, et al., 2010). NSSI is highly confronting and distressing to family, friends, and educators. The behaviour or its consequences results in significant personal costs, such as permanent physical scarring, significant distress, interference with interpersonal relationships, and school.

This full day workshop will focus on practical information and skills to manage nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) that can be assimilated directly back into your school environment. Beginning with differentiating NSSI from suicide, and operationally defining the behaviour, Madeline will present the results of her recent PhD research to provide a comprehensive profile of this NSSI. This workshop will also aid in the identification of young people who may be at greater risk of self-injuring. Madeline will also concentrate on harm minimisation and strategies that can be employed to help decrease self-injurious behaviours. The session will end with ways to minimise the potential spread of NSSI within your school.

See below for full workshop description and Dr Madeline Wishart's Bio.


Virtual: Friday 22nd March

Other 2024 Dates TBA soon

All workshops are 9am - 4pm

In the event that covid related issues prevent a F2F event going ahead workshop will revert to an online format.


ACTIVE CPD HOURS: This workshop has an optional post workshop assessment. Delegates who complete this assessment are able to claim 6 hours of Active CPD.

CPD Hours: All other delegates are able to claim 6 hours of self identified CPD in your respective professions.


Virtual Workshops:
Early Bird: $352 inc GST (3 weeks prior to workshop) Standard: $407 inc GST (within 3 weeks of workshop)
* Please note that the virtual workshop is an online full day event. It will not be recorded

F2F Workshops:
Early Bird: Workshop: $407 inc GST (3 weeks prior to workshop) Standard: $462 inc GST (within 3 weeks of workshop)


Dr Madeline Wishart is a Clinical Psychologist with a special interest in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), and young people who experience difficulty in regulating their emotionally and tolerating distress. She has a PhD, along with a Masters in both Professional and Clinical Psychology. Madeline has a combined history of both research and practical experience across a variety of settings. She has worked in the education, community, private and psychiatric sectors as a youth, school, trauma counsellor, and psychologist. In an academic and research capacity, Madeline has been employed as a sessional lecturer and project officer at Victoria University; and a research officer at Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) in Melbourne. Madeline also has over 18 years of experience presenting on managing and treating NSSI in young people. She has recently been working as a psychologist at Wyndham Clinic Private Hospital. Madeline currently divides her time between her private practice – Wishart Psychology; and working in a consultative capacity with schools providing professional development, therapeutic support and policy development around NSSI and coping skills more broadly.

Dr Wishart is an outstanding speaker. With an academic background and vast experience in working with young people engaging in NSSI, including years as a school counsellor, Dr Wishart provides extensive knowledge and a highly practical workshop - much of which you will be able to directly and immediately incorporate into your own schools.

Workshop Outline

Session 1

What is NSSI? Differentiating self-injury from suicide. Key features, prevalence rates, comorbidity, risk factors, short and long term consequences, and latest research findings.

Session 2

The myths about NSSI. Developing a theoretical understanding of NSSI and why students self-injure. The functions of NSSI and how to assess them. The environmental effects of self-injury and how to manage these effects within the school community. Duty of care responsibilities.

Session 3

Managing & containing NSSI in the school context. Developing a written protocols for supporting students who are engaging in nonsuicidal self-injury and minimising the potential spread of NSSI within your school. Location and method of NSSI. Key components in minimising harm around self-injurious behaviours. Appropriate steps when a student discloses self-injury for friends, parents, and school staff. Undertaking a basic medical assessment and appropriate referral.

Session 4

Working with students who self-injure: NSSI safety planning, exploring alternatives to self-injury, including targeted coping skills to meet the functions of your students’ self-injury. Developing a coping kit.