TW: This post discusses self-harm and suicide in relation to the internet & social media. I refrained from including images, but if the written content itself could be triggering to you, please do not continue to read the post beyond the resources listed.
I have included 2 suicide prevention resources immediately below:
Site with helpful resources: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Self-Harm, Suicide, & Social Media:
In this day and age, it is far too easy to come across information that can be lethal for someone in a suicidal state. A few keystrokes is all it takes to come across a massive amount of information on self-harm and suicide methods.
In my search, I’ve come across numerous sites with alarming content. There are chatrooms full of suicidal individuals asking for advice on how to best “end it all.” Perhaps even worse, there are people who urge on the desperately suicidal to “go ahead and do it already.” Even on the very first result page of Google for a search with the word “suicide,” there is a site listing suicide methods. It should be full of helpful resources and hotlines, not information on how to harm oneself!
It is too easy to come across harmful information and not nearly easy enough to get information on how to get professional help.
The younger generations spend numerous hours a day on social media, such as on Instagram. Unfortunately, rather than being a safe place, this just created newer platforms for the promotion of self-harm and suicidal behavior. Instagram is filled with images, hashtags, and accounts which encourage lethal behaviors (such as cutting). People of any age have instant, easy access to all sorts of dangerous, graphic content. These images have even been linked to deaths, including that of Molly Russell, a 14-year-old girl who died by suicide in 2017 after viewing such images online. Molly’s father stated that he believes Instagram “helped to kill his daughter.”
There is no way to monitor every single post on social media or take down every harmful site… so how can you help?
Call to Action:
From Casey’s blog:
How you can help to create change
I have created a petition which you can find here, campaigning to the owner of Instagram (Adam Mosseri) to create change on his platform. I would really appreciate your help with making social media safer for our children and to prevent losing more lives to suicide, as a result of exposure to harmful content. Please support me in reaching this goal!
If you would like to support my campaign to remove harmful content from the social media platform, Instagram, please click here.