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Oxford researchers have found internet forums provide a support network for socially isolated young people. However, they also conclude that the internet is linked to an increased risk of suicide and self-harm among vulnerable adolescents.

Senior co-author Professor Keith Hawton, from the Centre for Suicide Research at the University of Oxford, said: 'Communication via the internet and other electronic means has potential roles in both contributing to and preventing suicidal behaviour in young people.  We are only now beginning to realise the extent of these possible influences and this review is a contribution to this knowledge. The next step is going to be development of therapeutic interventions using these channels of communication, especially to access those who do not seek help from clinical services.'

See also: A multicentre programme of clinical and public health research in support of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England

and: Internet’s link to teen suicides explored, Boston Globe (USA), Lara Salahi, 04/11/2013


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