Adolescent self-harm webinar

Catalysing Connections for Adolescent Health and Wellbeing

Adolescent self-harm in the time of COVID-19: What we know and what remains unknown 

Wednesday 28 July, 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm AEST, Zoom webinar

On Wednesday 28th July 2021, 192 people attended our virtual Catalysing Connections webinar. The webinar involved a panel discussion with thought leaders in with thought leaders in emergency medicine, adolescent health research, and service provision. A/Professor Rohan Borschmann convened and moderated the session, which addressed:

  • How has COVID-19 impacted the rates and presentation of self-harm in adolescents at schools and at emergency departments?
  • How can schools, health professionals, and families identify and support students engaging in (or at risk of engaging in) self-harm?
  • How effectively have service systems and the education sector responded? What could be done differently to optimise mental health outcomes in adolescents?
  • How can we best promote mental health recovery from the pandemic in adolescents?


This webinar is part of the Catalysing Connections for Adolescent Health and Wellbeing events established by the Centre for Adolescent Health. These events provide researchers, practitioners, policy makers and implementers the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest thus strengthening our connections and collaborations to advance adolescent health and wellbeing.


Self-harm during adolescence is a major public health problem in Australia and internationally. It is often a conspicuous marker of emotional problems and is associated with poor outcomes later in life, including an increased risk of suicide. Hospitals across Australia have seen an increase in emergency department presentations resulting from self-harm in children and adolescents since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this webinar, our guest panellists discussed the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and overall wellbeing of adolescents in Australia, and how service systems and the education sector have responded.



Prof. Simon Craig, Paediatric ED physician, Monash Medical Centre

Dr. Bianca Forrester, GP and academic, University of Melbourne

Dr. Katrina Witt, Senior Research Fellow, Orygen


A/Prof. Rohan Borschmann, Dame Kate Campbell Senior Research Fellow and psychologist, University of Melbourne and Centre for Adolescent Health, MCRI

This event was supported by funding from the Geoff and Helen Handbury Family Trust.




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