1. Self-injury e-activity and e-communication
Over the past several years, our lab has conducted a number of studies to better understand the manner by which youth and emerging adults communicate about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) via the Internet. This has involved a number of studies examining different online platforms used by individuals to discuss their NSSI experiences as well as approaches involving e-community members. Our goals here have been to understand what motivates NSSI e-communication, what maintains this over time, and the impact this may have on those involved.
2. Self-injury Recovery
Another central goal of our research is to understand people's experiences with NSSI recovery. Although many individuals who self-injure struggle to stop self-injuring, we know that recovery is possible. Moreover, recovery may look different from person to person. To this end, we are interested in understanding what processes are involved in people's recovery journey and how we can facilitate this process. To this end, we have a number of projects examining different factors involved in people's recovery experiences and research investigating different recovery-based models.
3. Online outreach & resource provision
We are interested in developing novel ways to reach and help those who presently struggle with NSSI. A central part of our efforts focuses on the role of the Internet in the provision of support and various NSSI resources (e.g., information, coping tools). We also believe that in order to effectively address NSSI, a multi-pronged solution is needed - one that focuses on providing those who self-injure with resources but also helping those who can play key supportive roles in these individuals' lives. To this end, we have co-developed SiOS - the first international non-profit outreach initiative for self-injury.
4. Lived experience and action research
A recent strand in our line of work pertains to ensuring that the voices of those with lived experience have a place in research. This is especially important considering the underlying stigma with which self-injury and other mental health difficulties associate. Hence, we have conducted several recent studies that directly involve individuals with lived experience in the research process; doing so, we believe, is essential to better understanding the myriad experiences of these individuals and ultimately helping and reaching others.
5. Self-injury in Educational Settings
Our team is also part of an international consortium that strives to understand and effectively address self-injury in both schools and university settings. To this end, we aspire to ascertain the complex interplay between typical human development, NSSI, and myriad educational environments (e.g., elementary, junior/high school, college/university). Our efforts in this regard involve an array of research and policy-based efforts to augment assessment, treatment, prevention, and education as it pertains to self-injury. Central to this work is involvement of, and consideration to, the many stakeholders involved in the lives of students -- at all levels.