‘I want to die now. What will prevent me from taking action?’ – exploring social media communities for individuals living with suicidal thoughts. Preliminary findings of a qualitative study.

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning


Self-harm is a global public health problem. An increasing number of users engage in online communities designed to aid individuals living with suicidal thoughts. However, little is known about how individuals are affected by these social media groups.

To gain an understanding of the potential implications of a user controlled peer-to-peer social media community of individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Content from a social media community for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts was collected over a 4-month period. The content was imported into NVivo12 through NCapture. The analysis was data driven using Discursive Psychology.

The social media community was perceived as a safe space where it was socially acceptable to focus on the individual’s own situation. Here they could share their frustration, suicidal thoughts, specific events of self-harm and provide emotional support. Furthermore, they shared experiences of treatment and shortcomings of the health system. Although the forum clearly did not allow for sharing of information on means of suicide, it was a reoccurring phenomenon that individuals requested information on this topic. One event significantly violated the sense of a ‘safe space’ when an individual disclosed his suicidal thoughts in the group, which was subsequently shared with his family members by another user.

Preliminary findings suggest that the social media community had an important support function for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts. However, the forum also entailed several potential risks. Findings from the study will help to better integrate social media communities in a cohesive health promotion approach for suicide prevention.
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedThe Digitally Engaged Patient - University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 11 jun. 201912 jun. 2019


KonferenceThe Digitally Engaged Patient
LokationUniversity of Copenhagen

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