The Psychology of Self-Injury: Exploring Self-Harm & Mental Health

Self-Injury and the Internet, with Dr. Stephen Lewis

Episode Summary

Stephen Lewis, PhD, from the University of Guelph in Canada and Immediate Past President of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) discusses the state of health information about self-injury on the internet and addresses the risks and benefits of seeking self-injury and self-harm content online.

Episode Notes

What is the quality of online health information related to self-injury and self-harm? What are some of the risks and benefits related to seeking self-injury content on the internet? In this episode, Dr. Lewis details 3 overarching risks and 4 overarching benefits of accessing self-injury content online. He also discusses his research related to the effects of hopeless vs. hopeful comments on YouTube videos about self-injury. 

To watch Dr. Lewis' TEDx talk about his own lived experience of self-injury on YouTube, visit Learn more about self-injury and Dr. Lewis' work at Self-injury Outreach & Support (SiOS)  ( Follow SiOS on Facebook ( and Twitter ( Below are links to his research and resources referenced in this episode:

Non-suicidal self-injury, youth, and the Internet: What mental health professionals need to know

Googling self-injury: The state of health Information obtained through online searches for self-injury

The Scope of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury on YouTube

Self-Injury Resources:

  1. Self-injury Outreach & Support (SiOS) (
  2. Shedding Light on Self-Injury (
  3. Self-Injury & Recovery Resources (SIRR) (
  4. The International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) (

Follow Dr. Westers on Instagram and Twitter (@DocWesters). To join ISSS, visit and follow ISSS on Facebook and Twitter (@ITripleS).