Season 1: Episode 6 – Understanding self-harm and suicidal behaviours

In this episode, GP Bianca Forrester and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist A/Prof Sandra Radovini tackle the tricky topic of self-harming and suicidal behaviours. Sandra describes the key elements of assessment and management for self-harming behaviours themselves and the presence of self-harm as a red flag for suicidal behaviours. They discuss the importance of formal training and support when working with young people who might be experiencing these behaviours. Sandra describes how we might better understand what we can work with and when we need to refer. Sandra also reinforces the the importance of working with supports.

Link to podcast:

Patient information about Self Harm

Safety Planning resources

For an explanation of safety planning – or directly link to the app –

Training and education resources

  • Asist training –
  • Orygen training –
  • Headspace training for GPs –

Phone Counselling and Support

Where people are in crisis and need to talk to someone about their distress or trauma, there are a range of organisations listed below that can assist them.

  • beyondblue
    1300 22 4636
    beyondblue is a national organisation that has a range of information and resources associated with depression and anxiety. Useful resources and further information about beyondblue programmes are available on its website at or by contacting its Support Service on 1300 22 4636 (toll free). The Support Service runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential.
  • Lifeline Australia
    13 11 14
    Lifeline Australia provides a free, confidential and anonymous, 24-hour telephone counselling service for adults needing emotional support. Lifeline Australia also has a range of information and resources available from their website, about providing care in times of crisis.
  • Kids Help Line
    1800 55 1800
    A number of children and youth may also need emotional. Kids Help Line is a free and confidential, telephone counselling service for 5 to 25 year olds in Australia.
  • Black Dog Institute
    The Black Dog Institute provides a 24 hour free mobile phone/computer-based programme to assist those with mild to moderate depression, anxiety and stress (myCompass).

Suicide Prevention Services

For those at risk of suicide or self-harm the Suicide Callback Service is available seven days a week. Similarly, bereavement services are available 24 hours a day for those bereaved by suicide.

  • Suicide Callback Service
    1300 659 467
    The Suicide Callback Service is a free nation-wide telephone support service available to support people at risk of suicide and their carers, and is well suited to people who are geographically or emotionally isolated. The service can support callers through structured 50 minute telephone counselling sessions, scheduled according to the caller’s needs. The Suicide Callback Service operates seven days a week.
  • Wesley LifeForce – Wesley Mission
    This project aims to build community capacity to engage in suicide prevention activity, improve access to appropriate services and to support those at risk of suicide and bereaved by suicide by building suicide prevention networks and providing education.
  • StandBy Response Service – United Synergies Ltd
    The StandBy suicide Bereavement Response Service provides a 24 hour face to face response service for those bereaved by suicide, training for front line emergency response services in the community, and coordination of suicide response services.

This list of resources was taken from the website From

Thanks for listening. Subscribe and please get in touch at to send feedback, questions and ideas about future episodes.

This Podcast was recorded at the PodHub on the 4th June, 2019

  • Presented by: Bianca Forrester
  • Produced by: Bianca Forrester
  • Audio Engineering: Chris Hatzis
  • Post-Production: Arch Cuthbertson
  • Music: Space Cadet Lullabies
  • Graphics: Gaal Creative

The Maze Phase is a production of the University of Melbourne, Australia. The Maze Phase is licenced under Creative Commons, Copyright 2017, the University of Melbourne.