Do It Yourself: Examination of Self-Injury First Aid Tips on YouTube. Academic Article uri icon


  • Individuals who engage in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) may prefer the Internet as a medium to communicate about NSSI experiences and obtain NSSI information. Recent research suggests that NSSI first aid information is shared. Yet, no research has examined the context in which this information occurs. This study examined the nature and scope of NSSI first aid tips on YouTube using a content analysis to examine 40 NSSI first aid videos. Findings indicated that videos were viewed 157,571 total times; they were typically favorably viewed. Most had a neutral purpose and neither encouraged nor discouraged NSSI. Messages encouraging NSSI help seeking were scant. Similarly, medical help seeking was not commonly encouraged, with several videos providing "safe" NSSI instructions. Overall, videos with NSSI first aid information may contribute to NSSI reinforcement and the belief that professional and medical help may not be needed for NSSI. Findings have implications for research, clinical work, and e-outreach, which are discussed.

publication date

  • May 2015