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Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Internet, Suicide, & How Sites Like PostSecret Can Help

Studies show the Internet fails suicidal users. PostSecret shows how to help.
by Jennifer Golbeck, Ph.D.
Psychology Today Blog
Originally published October 4, 2014

People suffering from depression can feel isolated, lonely, and in need of help. As with so many other areas, the Internet is a natural place to turn for support. But, as with so many other things, the Internet is not always safe.

William Melchert-Dinkel, a former nurse who lives in Minnesota, was convicted last month for assisting the suicide of a British man online. Melchert-Dinkel spent his time visiting suicide-related internet forums where he posed as a suicidal female nurse. He would offer people step-by-step instructions on how to kill themselves (usually by hanging), and in ten cases, he entered into suicide pacts with other forum members. He believes five of those people went through with the suicides. In some cases, he may have watched people commit suicide over a webcam.

The entire blog post is here.