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Using the internet as a source of self-help for people who self-harm

  • Vibhore Prasad (a1) and David Owens (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

To describe the information and help available on the internet for people who self-harm. We searched the internet using a meta-search engine. We visited sites and followed up links with e-mails and letters. We also searched bibliographic databases, seeking published material about the internet and self-harm.

Results

The support that we found largely took the form of information about suicide, self-injury and psychological issues. Less often, sites offered e-mail support and online discussions. We found little information about self-poisoning, and most about self-injury. There is little published research about self-harm and the internet.

Clinical Implications

The unregulated sites of the internet contain much material about self-injury. Although it is not possible at present to weigh up risks and benefits, many individuals and organisations plainly regard internet information about self-harm as a valuable service.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Alao, A. O., Yolles, J. C. & Armenta, W. (1999) Cybersuicide: the internet and suicide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 18361837.
Hawton, K., Fagg, J., Simkin, S., et al (1997) Trends in deliberate self-harm in Oxford, 1985–1995. Implications for clinical services and the prevention of suicide. British Journal of Psychiatry, 171, 556560.
Klemm, P. & Nolan, M.T. (1998) Internet cancer support groups: legal and ethical issues for nurse researchers. Oncology Nursing Forum, 25, 673676.
Prasad, V. (2000) Cancer self-help groups. Yorkshire Medicine, 12, 9295.
Rowden, R. & Pembroke, L. (1999) Face to face. Nursing Times, 95, 3839.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Using the internet as a source of self-help for people who self-harm

  • Vibhore Prasad (a1) and David Owens (a1)
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