Turning to online peer forums for suicide and self-harm support: “It does help having you guys”
McCosker, A. & Hartup, M.
There are no easy solutions to reaching and supporting people at serious risk of suicide or self-harm. Public health organisations have turned to a range of digital tools to address these risks and offer avenues for support.
This report maps the activity and characteristics of individuals who engage with beyondblue’s Suicidal thoughts and self-harm forum, one of twelve heavily subscribed forums hosted on the organisation’s website. This work provides an evidence base that can be used to maintain, improve and replicate these services to better reach people vulnerable to serious mental health risks.
While people generally find it difficult to talk about suicide and the contexts that lead to it, this report shows that there is a deep need and great capacity for supportive conversations among peers, and these can be facilitated by online community platforms.