Puneet Narang, Steven B. Lippmann
Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Internet and Suicide. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2009, 452 pages.
As advances are made towards the understanding of suicide, new risk factors keep cropping up with the passage of time and the advent of new technology. One of the features of new technology which can play its role in either direction is “Internet”. Internet is the new form of mass media and communication which connect people from geographically distinct locations instantly. The sharing of ideas, beliefs and practices on internet has extended to issues like suicide with both negative and positive impact. Internet use is highest among teens and adolescents, the group with a disturbing trend of rise in suicide rates by 8% in the last ten years. Many authors have tried to evaluate the role of internet in suicide, they observed the noticeable impact internet had on selecting the choice of suicide method with descriptive and elaborate instructions made easily available on web. Besides the information on the methods of suicide, various forums and chat rooms can also be found which influence vulnerable people with suicidal tendencies to overcome their doubts, in a way instigate them to commit suicide. However, there are support forums and help lines available on internet which can be accessed by vulnerable population for their benefit. Lack of strict guidelines about the content to be advertised on internet and suicide being considered personal choice, it becomes difficult to counter the pro-suicide force on internet.