Life versus death: The suicidal mind, online

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter reviews how digital technology has dramatically changed aspects of suicide. Online suicide pacts, webcam suicides, and step-by-step “how-to” sites attract the media’s attention, but a relatively large body of scientific research on the topic now exists. As a result, there is a greater understanding of the thought processes associated with searches for suicide-related information on the Internet. It is not possible to give an “all bad” or “all good” assessment about the complex interplay between information technology (IT) and suicide. Although knowledge of methods of suicide has undoubtedly increased as a result of the Internet, IT-based outreach and treatment are becoming an important part of the solution. Prosuicide sites, cyberbullying, and other negative factors are unlikely to be eradicated and will continue to elicit anger and condemnation. Most in the field of cybersuicidology, however, believe that the Internet environment will ultimately offer more advantages than disadvantages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMental health in the digital age
Subtitle of host publicationGrave dangers, great promise
EditorsElias Aboujaoude, Vladan Starcevic
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780199380183
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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