Participating in Online Web Discussions Associated With Rise in Suicidal Risk in Young People, APPC Study Finds

    A 24-year-old told readers of Reddit (www.reddit.com/r/suicidewatch) of his intention to end his life, a forecast that proved accurate (see http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/08/31/reddit-suicide-how-the-internet-can-help-and-hurt.html). A log of the comments posted to him between the time of his announcement and his death revealed that although many offered help, some openly encouraged him to go through with the act.
     
    For nine years the National Annenberg Survey of Youth (NASY) has tracked the impact of media on adolescents and young adults. Here we focus on a panel survey of 719 young people ages 14 to 24 interviewed in the spring and summer of 2008 and 2009 about sources from which they learned about suicide. The study was recently published online in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
     
    The survey sought to determine:

    • When death by suicide has occurred nationally or in one’s community, how does a young person learn about it?