Internet message boards for suicidal people: a typology of users

Cyberpsychol Behav. 2008 Feb;11(1):107-13. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2007.9924.


Clinical psychological discourse contains a varied array of evaluations of the risks and/or benefits of Internet message boards where people can discuss their suicidal thoughts. Public opinion contends they are harmful. To assess this assumption, an online questionnaire (N = 164) survey was conducted on a German message board for suicidal people. Three user types were identified with differing motives for visiting the forum and different usage effects of the message board. The results contradict the assumptions that suicide message boards are generally a source of potential harm and that they foster suicidal tendencies and point instead to their predominantly constructive or even suicide-preventive functions.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Suicide, Attempted* / psychology