School Mental Health

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 35–43 | Cite as

Teachers’ Perceptions of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in the Schools

  • Nancy L. HeathEmail author
  • Jessica R. Toste
  • Michael J. Sornberger
  • Clara Wagner
Original Paper


Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a growing concern among professionals working with youth. The present study investigated the self-reported confidence, knowledge, and attitudes regarding NSSI among 155 high school teachers (51 men, 104 women). More than half of the teachers (60%) responded that they found the idea of NSSI “horrifying.” When asked about their own levels of confidence in dealing with NSSI, 67% said that they would feel comfortable if a student spoke to them about NSSI; however, only 43% felt knowledgeable about this behavior. Years of teaching experience was found to be positively associated with disagreement that individuals who self-injure are manipulative. Male teachers reported more negative attitudes than female teachers. Implications for school mental health professionals are discussed.


Non-suicidal self-injury Self-injurious behavior Adolescents Attitudes Knowledge High school teachers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy L. Heath
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jessica R. Toste
    • 1
  • Michael J. Sornberger
    • 1
  • Clara Wagner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational & Counselling PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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