International Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month – Criminalising distress

Free Members' Webinar

Thursday 5 May 2022

Overview of this webinar

Self-harm and suicidal thoughts are associated with considerable distress, disability and mortality. There are many factors underlying their development, requiring a compassionate, personalised response to care and treatment.

Yet there are ongoing examples in the UK where the response to suicidal thoughts or behaviour is not compassion, but criminalisation. Beyond arresting a person ‘for their own protection’ while suicidal, this includes the use of bail conditions, community protection notices, antisocial behaviour orders and prosecution for alleged offences related to being suicidal.

In this free webinar, the speakers described what is known about the benefits and harms of criminal sanctions as a response to self-harm and suicidality in the UK in the 21st Century, including an account of direct lived experience of this practice, and the clinical and ethical duties of psychiatrists when encountering such a scenario.


  • Chair: Dr Adrian James and Marsha McAdam
  • Alex Thomson
  • Em McAllister
  • Louis Appleby
  • Sarah Skett
  • Reflective Panel Discussion
  • Q&A

Additional Resources

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