Year: 2014 Source: Journal of Mental Health Counseling.(2012).34(2):121-132. SIEC No: 20140299

Social contagion among adolescents is a growing concern as the numbers of youth who self-injure increases. Mental health counselors face challenges in treating self-injurers in settings that are prone to social contagion. This article describes social contagion as one factor motivating self-harm in group settings, residential facilities, and audiences for social and electronic media. It reviews possible benefits and pitfalls of self-injury treatment in these environments and presents approaches to minimize social contagion. Responses to self-injury and social contagion are explored.