Self-Harm and Suicide Content

self_harm_suicide_content_thumbnails

Type of Resource

Guidance

Publication Date

June 28, 2023

Topic/s

Digital Wellbeing / Harmful or inappropriate content  

Young people might use the internet to cope with difficult feelings and engage in peer support when they find it challenging to connect with other people in real life.

Self-harm or suicide content can be distressing for anyone who comes across it. While the internet can help young people seek support in challenging times, it is not always helpful to access self-harm or suicide content.

What is self-harm and suicide content?

Not all self-harm or suicide-related content is harmful – young people can and do use the internet for peer support. Suicide and self-harm content can be focused on recovery, getting help, or surviving difficult circumstances.

What is Self-Harm?

What is peer support?

Peer support is when young people living with a mental health condition or other complex needs and difficulties support each other with advice, empathy, and a listening ear. It can be a vital lifeline for many young people and can help them build independence, resilience, and healthier coping mechanisms.

Young people may use message boards, habit tracking apps, and social media to share information about their mental health.

The Importance of Appropriate Support

If you are aware of young people using technology to share or cope with difficult feelings or circumstances, it is helpful to discuss the value it has for them and what other supports they can use alongside it.
You should make sure young people know about moderated peer support forums like the Childline website, where they can interact with their peers safely. Childline will contact a young person if they are particularly vulnerable or in need of immediate medical attention. They will also make sure the quality of the information is beneficial to children and likely to make things better.

Practical Tips

Welcome to the Online Safety Hub

How old are you?

If you are under 18, click the blue button below to visit the Online Safety Hub micro-site for children and young people.