Year: 2023 Source: Crisis. (2023). 44(4), 361-364. DOI: SIEC No: 20231854

Background: The relationship between search terms and suicidal ideation is not precisely known.

Aims: This study examined the relationship between the types of terms used in web searches and the level of suicidal ideation among individuals who conduct such searches.

Methods: A total of 508 Internet users completed a suicidal ideation scale and conveyed to us the words they used when searching for a consultation site. The site was run by the authors using Internet advertisement listings, to consult people via e-mail who had searched for suicide-related words. We divided the users into three groups based on the most salient search terms: suicide method terms, suicide but no method terms, and other terms.

Results: The scores on the suicide ideation scale were compared using one-factor analysis of variance, and differences were found between the groups. Users searching for suicide method-related terms had the strongest suicidal ideation.

Limitations: This study was limited to users who contacted online consultation sites because of their help-seeking intentions.

‘Conclusion: It is especially important for support organizations to identify Internet users who directly search for suicide methods.