Understanding Self-Harm and Suicide in Young People

Free Public Lecture

MSD-B117 (Theatre)
Melbourne School of Design


More information

T: 8344 6377


The lecture will describe how self-harm and suicide are significant public health issues worldwide. In Australia more young people die by suicide than any other cause and globally suicide is the second largest cause of death among those aged 15-24 years. Around 50% of young people who die by suicide have previously self-harmed, meaning that the risk of suicide for those who self-harm is hundreds of times higher than the general population.

In her lecture Professor Ellen Townsend will describe her work on the psychological and social factors associated with self-harm and suicide in young people, including pioneering new techniques she has developed to understand the temporal dynamics of the thoughts, feelings, behaviours and events that lead to self-harm. The discussion will focus on the importance of understanding the sequential patterning of key factors that lead to self-harm. The lecture will conclude with findings from her work on two new major systematic reviews that investigate which interventions may be effective for self-harm.


  • Professor Ellen Townsend
    Professor Ellen Townsend, University of Nottingham