SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Korea Bizwire) — Online communities set up to stop self-harm and suicide are offering teenagers a place to share and relate to one another.
There are some seven groups on Facebook dedicated to the prevention of self-harm in South Korea, many of which opened after February following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of the posts feature individuals talking about how their lives have become more difficult after using the public school counseling system, sharing their stories about self-harm with their peers.
The Korea Youth Counseling and Welfare Institute reported a 69.7 percent increase in the number of counseling cases on self-harm and suicide between March (3,222 cases) and September (5,468 cases).
Some are concerned that online posts carrying private testimony about self-harm and suicide could trigger copycat actions.
Several group members, in fact, have posted pictures of themselves committing self-harm or detailed instructions on self-harm, which may encourage others to hurt themselves.
“Online communities where self-harm victims can engage with others who can relate to their photos of committing self-harm offers a chance to receive psychological support,” said Kwak Keum-joo, a psychology professor at Seoul National University.
“Community managers should come up with a proper system to filter inappropriate or excessive posts about self-harm or suicide.”
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)