A newly released study has revealed that social media may glorify suicidal behaviour amongst young Australians.
The Commission for Children and Young People in Queensland yesterday released some of the 140 submissions they have made, exploring the way social media may be linked to suicide rates amongst Australian teenagers and young people.
The Daily Mail reports that some of those submissions — released in a report spearheaded by National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell — show young people can be drawn into social media tributes to peers who have committed suicide.
The Australian reports that one young person committed suicide after admiring the “large community response’’ on social media to the death of another teenager, whom they didn’t know personally.
“This second young person made statements prior to their death of being amazed by the social status of the deceased following the suicide,’’ the commission states in a submission to a national review of child suicide. “They attempted suicide and died a short time after the first death incident.
“There was evidence the second young person died with the expectation that they would also receive the same widespread response to their own death.’’
The report adds that more than 2000 young people have signed up to websites set up to honour recent young people in Queensland who committed suicide — a figure five times the number of people who would usually be exposed to a suicide in the community, The Australian reports.
The report adds that several young people have also committed suicide after looking up instructions on the internet.
“There are pro-suicide forums with content that glorifies and normalises suicidal behaviours,’’ the submission states, according to The Australian.
Previously, Mamamia wrote:
Trigger warning: This post deals with suicide and may be triggering for some readers.
It’s a boy’s school in Sydney. It’s best known for its extensive sporting facilities and reputation as one of the most exclusive private schools in the state.
But it’s recently been rocked by a devastating loss. Because a 13-year-old boy committed suicide on school grounds four weeks ago, leaving his classmates shocked and despairing.
The incident was not reported in the media immediately, partly because guidelines on publicising suicides warn of the risk of “suicide contagion” – the phenomenon whereby one within a school or community increases the likelihood that others will attempt suicide.
But the Sunday Telegraph last month ran an exposé on a year seven boy’s tragic passing, writing that the fact such young children are attempting suicide “compels our society to talk about the problem”. That report also revealed that a year 10 boy from another school was found dead in his home after using social media; he was just 17 years old.