St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and Pieta House are holding their third Self-Harm Awareness Conference on 1st March 2018(Self-Injury Awareness Day) at the AVIVA stadium.
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.
The conference has been approved for 4.5 CPD, 0.5 GMS Study Leave and 4 learning credits from PSI.
Timetable for the conference
8.15-9 am: Registration
9-9.20 am: Welcome from Paul Gilligan, CEO, St Patrick's Mental Health Services and Brian Higgins, CEO, Pieta House
9.20-10 am: Keynote speeches from Eoghan McDermott, television and radio presenter, and Ellen Townsend, professor of psychology at The University of Nottingham.
10 am: Tea and coffee break
10.30 am-12.15 pm: Panel presentations and roundtable discussions
12.15-1.15 pm: Lunch
1.15-2.15 pm: Workshops:
Workshop Session 1 (1.15pm): Three x 30-minute workshops and one x 30-minute soapbox running concurrently
Workshop Session 2 (1.45pm): Three x 30-minute workshops and one x 30-minute soapbox running concurrently
The themes of the workshops are:
"Exposing the secret - from guilt to acceptance" and will be run by Jenny Groves, founder of UK support group, Battle Scars.
"Young people and self-harm" will be run by Marguerite Kiely, Pieta House Clinical Director of Child and Adolescent Services
"Self Care for those impacted by self-harm" will be run by Pauline Bergin, Pieta House Senior Therapist
2.15-3 pm Closing session
Fee includes access to all sessions and workshops, lunch and refreshment breaks.
*Maggie Long (2018) ‘We’re not monsters … we’re just really sad sometimes:’ hidden self-injury, stigma and help-seeking, Health Sociology Review, 27:1, 89-103, DOI: 10.1080/14461242.2017.13758