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Self-harm Behaviours and Loneliness: Insights from the OxWell Student Survey

Self-harm Behaviours and Loneliness: Insights from the OxWell Student Survey

TRIGGER WARNING: Please be aware that this podcast explores themes around the topic of self-harm. 

If you or a person you know is struggling with their mental health, please seek support by accessing the helplines and resources provided by the NHS website. For those outside the UK please use an internet search to find an organisation that can offer direct support.

In this ‘Insights from the OxWell Student Survey’ episode, Dr. Galit Geulayov and Dr. Rohan Borschmann comment on the findings from the OxWell survey regarding self-harm behaviours as well as informal and formal support for adolescents who self-harm.

The ‘Insights from the OxWell Student Survey‘ series is a new mini-in conversation series that will explore the OxWell study and the impact of its findings for parents, teachers, policymakers and mental health professionals.

Discussion points include:

  • What was measured in relation to self-harm in the OxWell student survey.
  • Self-harm and loneliness.
  • Gender and age differences in self-harm behaviours.
  • Types of support accessed by adolescents following self-harm.
  • Informal and formal support for adolescents who self-harm.
  • Potential implications of the findings and plans for the next OxWell waves regarding self-harm behaviours in adolescents.

OxWell is a large-scale student survey designed to measure the wellbeing of children and young people. It looks at mental wellbeing, anxiety, indicators of vulnerability such as bullying and loneliness, school experience, access to services, safety online and many more areas. It is a joint effort between schools, young people, the NHS, local authorities and the OxWell research team at the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry.

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TRIGGER WARNING: Please be aware that this podcast explores themes around the topic of self-harm. 

Need support?

For those based in the UK, if you need support please use these helplines as provided by NHS website. For those outside the UK please use an internet search to find an organisation that can offer direct support. Do not suffer in silence, reach out.

  • Samaritans: Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
    Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline).
  • PAPYRUS: Young suicide prevention society.
    Phone: HOPELINE247 0800 068 4141 (24-hours every day, 365 days of the year).
    Text: 07860039967
  • CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
    Phone: 0800 585858 (Helplines are open 17:00pm-midnight, 365 days a year. Webchat is also available.) 

Other resources

  • Episode 1 – ‘Networks of Care: Insights from the OxWell Student Survey’, with Professor Mina Fazel, Dr. Emma Soneson, and Dr. Simon White
  • Episode 2 – ‘Friendships and Mental Health: Insights from the OxWell Student Survey’, with Tanya Manchanda
  • Episode 3 – ‘Online Behaviours and the Impact on Mental Health: Insights from the OxWell Student Survey’, with Dr. Simona Skripkauskaite and Dr. Holly Bear
Dr. Galit Geulayov
Dr. Galit Geulayov

Dr. Galit Geulayov is a mental health epidemiologist researching self-harm and suicide across the life course. With partners in Australia and in the UK, Galit investigates the impact of parental self-harm on offspring psychosocial and cognitive outcomes in early life. Galit is also developing a machine learning based tool for identifying self-harm in Electronic Health Records.

Galit is the self-harm research lead in the OxWell School and, within this study, Galit is exploring help-seeking behaviour following self-harm, trends in self-harm over time and self-harm in primary school children.

Previously, Galit acted as the data curator of the Multicentre Study Self-harm in England and data analyst. This study involves collecting information on individuals who present to hospitals following self-harm. Galit studied trends in self-harm over time and the relationship between socio-economic and clinical characteristics with clinical care and mortality. (Bio and image from Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford).

Dr. Rohan Borschmann
Dr. Rohan Borschmann

Prof. Rohan Borschmann is a psychologist and visiting academic from the Centre for Mental Health and Community Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne, Australia. As the immediate past-president of the Australian Association for Adolescent Health, much of Rohan’s work focuses on the mental health of adolescents and young adults, with a particular interest in self-harm and suicide prevention. He has been based in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford since 2022, using OxWell data to examine the patterns and correlates of self-harm in secondary school students.

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