Suicide and the Internet

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Suicide and the Internet have increasingly important relationships as Internet use becomes more ubiquitous.

Several Internet suicides have occurred, and issues involving social media and suicide have gained some attention. A survey has found that suicide-risk individuals who went online for suicide-related purposes, compared with online users who did not, reported greater suicide-risk symptoms, were less likely to seek help and perceived less social support.[1] Jurisdictional hindrances have sometimes prevented governments from effectively restricting pro-suicide sites and sites that describe suicide methods.[2] In 2008, police in the United Kingdom expressed concern that "Internet cults" and the desire for achieving prestige via online memorials may encourage suicides.[3]

Although there are concerns that the Internet may be a dangerous platform, where suicidal people might find suicide methods or encouragement to kill themselves,[4] research has shown that the internet is more likely to have a positive than a negative influence.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Keith; McLean, John; Sheffield, Jeanie (July 2009), "Examining Suicide-Risk Individuals Who Go Online for Suicide-Related Purposes", Archives of Suicide Research, 13 (3): 264–276, doi:10.1080/13811110903044419, PMID 19591000, S2CID 205804938
  2. ^ Mishara, Brian L.; Weisstub, David N. (2007), "Ethical, legal, and practical issues in the control and regulation of suicide promotion and assistance over the internet", Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Suicide & life-threatening behavior, 37 (1): 58–65, doi:10.1521/suli.2007.37.1.58, ISSN 0363-0234, PMID 17397280
  3. ^ Nick Britten and Richard Savill (23 Jan 2008), Police fear internet cult inspires teen suicides, Telegraph
  4. ^ Prior, Trevor (August 2004), "Suicide Methods From the Internet", The American Journal of Psychiatry, Am J Psychiatry, 161 (8): 1500–1, doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.161.8.1500-a, PMID 15285986
  5. ^ Kemp, C. G., & Collings, S. C. (2011). Hyperlinked suicide: Assessing the prominence and accessibility of suicide websites. Crisis, 32(3), 143-151. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000068
  6. ^ Harris, K. M. (2015). Life vs. death: The suicidal mind online. In E. Aboujaoude & V. Starcevic (Eds.), Mental Health in the Digital Age: Grave Dangers, Great Promise (pp. 135-151). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.