ISSS 2020 – Virtual Conference

Welcome to the ISSS 2020 Virtual Conference! Although not how we envisioned meeting, we are delighted to still be able to share this content with you.

To access, please first log in, then use the links below to navigate conference content. You must be an active member of ISSS to view the posts. Email our membership chair if you have any questions about your membership status.

Virtual Conference Links and Schedule

Live Content
*Recordings of addresses and panel presentations will be made available after their conclusions. All times listed are Vienna local time (GMT+2). How do I convert to my local time zone? 

26 June Event (Zoom Info)
13:00-14:00 Special Interest Group: Ecological Momentary Assessment
14:30-15:00 Welcome/Introduction
15:00-16:00 Keynote: Dr. Barent Walsh

When Art Meets Suicide: The Sad Trajectories of Vincent Van Gogh and Diane Arbus 
16:00-16:45 Expert Panel: Careers in NSSI
16:45-17:15 "Happy Hour"
27 June Event (Zoom Info)
12:00-12:45 Rapid Poster Presentations
13:00-14:00 Special Interest Group Meetings:
  • Neurobiology
  • Stigma
14:00-15:30 Annual General Meeting & Awards Announcement
15:30-16:15 Rising Star Presentation & Address: Dr. Brooke Ammerman
16:15-16:30 Concluding Remarks

Pre-Recorded Content

ISSS 2020 Pre-Conference Schedule Announced

The ISSS 2020 pre-conference will be held on 25 June 2020 at the Van Swieten Hall of the Medical University of Vienna. The pre-conference schedule is as follows:


  • [09:00-15:00] Clinical preconference (in German)
  • [09:00-17:00] International Consortium on Self-injury in Educational Settings (ICSES) – all welcome 
  • [09:00-12:00] Student interest group (for all students and early-career researchers) 
  • [13:00-18:00] Neurobiology interest group – all welcome                       
  • [13:00-18:00] Ecological Momentary Assessment interest group – all welcome
  • [13:00-17:00] Stigma/ lived experience interest group –  all welcome
  • [16:00-18:00] STAR study group                                                                     

Download the schedule here

Discussing NSSI: Language Counts

The language we use to talk about people and the behaviours they engage in is powerful. Language is the medium we use to communicate our understanding of the world, to establish social structures, define cultures, and establish meaning to phenomena and people. Language shapes the way we view the world and our place in it. The language that is commonly used when talking about NSSI and people with lived experience of NSSI is often derogatory, can perpetuate myths and foster stigma, and can make people with lived experience feel even more misunderstood and isolated.

Conversely, adopting a ‘respectful curiosity’ and being conscious of using respectful language can opened the way for helpful conversations and encourage support seeking.

Take home points:

·   Always be respectful when talking about NSSI, or people with a lived experience of NSSI

·   Poorly-considered language can exacerbate stigma among people who already feel highly stigmatised

·   Avoid language that defines a person by their behaviour (e.g., “cutter”; “self-injurer”)

·   Avoid language that is value-laden (e.g., good/bad), or propagates stigma (e.g., attention-seeking)

·   Use of appropriate language can foster open communication and facilitate support-seeking

Recommended reading:

1.           Lewis, (2017). I cut therefore I am? Avoiding labels in the context of self-injury. Medical Humanities.

2.           Hasking, P., Lewis, S.P., & Boyes, M. (2019). When language is maladaptive: Recommendations for discussing self-injury. Journal of Public Mental Health, 18, 148-152.

3.           Hasking, P., & Boyes, M. (2018). Cutting words: A commentary on language and stigma in the context of non-suicidal self-injury. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 206, 829-833.