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Section 23
Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: What is it, why does it happen,
and how can we help?

Question 23 | Test | Table of Contents

Ohio Department of Education

Key Points found in Scroll Box below:
1. Why do people engage in NSSI?
-To temporarily alleviate overwhelming negative emotions
-To punish themselves
-To produce physical signs of emotional distress
2. Who self-injures? Age; Gender; Sexual Orientation; and Ethnicity
3.Differences between NSSI and suicidality.
-NSSI is much more prevalent than suicide;
-NSSI results in less medically severe and less lethal bodily harm than suicide attempts;
-Most often, people engage in NSSI without having suicidal ideation; and
-People who engage in NSSI do not intend to end their own lives.
4. Common myths about NSSI
5. How can you help individuals who engage in NSSI?
a. If you suspect individuals are engaging in self-injury, try to be more watchful of potential injured areas before talking to them.
b. Deal with your own feelings before talking to the person engaging in self-injury.
c. Prepare a safe and quiet environment free of distractions to talk to the individuals who are self-injuring.
d. Tell individuals who self-injure that you care about them.
e. Ask the individuals if they are engaging in self-injury.
f. Listen with an open mind and be empathic toward the individuals who are injuring themselves.
g. Don’t keep the self-injury as a secret. Ask for support.
h. Work with the individuals who self-injure to find medical help.

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Questions? Email: [email protected]com

- Palasciano-Barton, Sarah, M.A. Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: What is it, why does it happen, and how can we help? Ohio Department of Education. March 2017.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Kiekens, G., Hasking, P., & Boyes, M. (2019). Measurement invariance of three brief emotion regulation questionnaires in people with and without a history of non-suicidal self-injury. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 35(6), 835–841. 

Kyron, M. J., Hooke, G. R., & Page, A. C. (2018). Daily assessment of interpersonal factors to predict suicidal ideation and non-suicidal self-injury in psychiatric inpatients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 86(6), 556–567.

Stanley, B., Currier, G. W., Chesin, M., Chaudhury, S., Jager-Hyman, S., Gafalvy, H., & Brown, G. K. (2018). Suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-injury in emergency departments underestimated by administrative claims data. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 39(5), 318–325.

What are four differences between non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide? To select and enter your answer go to Test.