Website Reviews: Before It's Too Late: A Review of Selected Websites for Suicide and Self-Injurious Behavior

By Sundborg, Stephanie; Beers, Kristin | Best Practices in Mental Health, April 2014 | Go to article overview

Website Reviews: Before It's Too Late: A Review of Selected Websites for Suicide and Self-Injurious Behavior


Sundborg, Stephanie, Beers, Kristin, Best Practices in Mental Health


This review includes websites that provide information and support for the topic of suicide and self-injurious behavior. These are important subjects as the rates have been trending upward in the past years (Centers for Disease Control, 2013), possibly due to the high number of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (Kang & Bullirían, 2008). The websites are divided by suicide and self-injurious behavior; special sites targeting veterans and their families are listed separately.

Suicide Websites-General

American Association of Suicidology (AAS): http://www.suicidology.org

The AAS is a membership association that provides comprehensive information about suicide to a range of audiences including crisis workers, mental health professionals, suicide survivors, individuals contemplating suicide, and family members. With a broad goal of understanding and preventing suicide, this association strives to provide accurate information based on high-quality research, thus informing strategies and prevention efforts. Although much of the site is targeted to professionals working to prevent suicide, there are resources and links for individuals and families who have experienced suicide or suicidal attempts firsthand. Among the resources is a blog with videos and posts from other suicide survivors. This site has a lot to offer.

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/suicide/DS01062

The Mayo Clinic site provides a comprehensive overview of the warning signs and symptoms associated with suicidal thinking. This site is filled with factual information such as risk factors, treatment options, and compassionate support, including ideas for coping and prevention. Although the importance of medication and treatment is stated, other lifestyle considerations are discussed, such as supportive networks, exercise, and the avoidance of drugs and alcohol. There is also a tab for more in-depth information that covers risk factors and prevention. As is the case with most of the websites, additional resources are provided.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/ publications/suicide-in-the-us-statistics-and-prevention/index.shtml shtml

The NIMH website on suicide is very matter of fact, using facts and statistics to describe the rates of suicide and those at highest risk. This site addresses commonly asked questions about risk factors and prevalence among young people, older people, and various ethnic groups. There is also a link for more information on suicide prevention including printable fact sheets and materials in Spanish. In the event that someone is in a crisis situation, the toll-free hotline is prominently displayed at the start of the website. This site would likely appeal to friends, family, and mental health workers who are looking for general information about suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

This easy-to-navigate website provides numerous resources for individuals who have attempted suicide or are considering suicide and their friends and family. There are inspiring personal stories to read and watch, ideas about safety plans and treatment options, and informational readings. Quick links directed at young adults, veterans, and Spanish speakers move targeted individuals to additional pages tailored to their needs. As a collaborative project between the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Mental Health Association of New York City, this resource has provided crisis and hotline support since 2005. Lifeline provides suicide prevention through the hotlines 1-800-SUICIDE (general) and 1-800-273-TALK (for veterans and their families). The comprehensive and supportive nature of this website makes it a must visit for anyone interested in suicide prevention.

Suicide Websites-For Veterans

Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www.mentalhealth. …

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