Scary statistic

Here's one scary statistic:

In a study, the first of its kind, scientists have found that websites encouraging suicide pop up more frequently in Internet search engines than those which aim to prevent it.

The story, reported by the Times of India, must be speaking of Web sites outside of the U.S. because I sure can't find such a phenomenon on U.S. sites. (Yes, yes, I've previously tried.)

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics":

While one in five sites that popped up on the click of a mouse were dedicated suicide sites, and over 50% of them encouraged, promoted or facilitated suicide. Over 43 of the websites studied contained personal accounts of suicide methods. In contrast, only 13% focused on suicide prevention or offered support, while another 12% actively discouraged suicide.

The article mentions that the three highest ranked sites were pro-suicide. The top four sites gave detailed information on various ways to commit suicide. Most of these pro-suicide hits were found via Google and Yahoo. MSN had the highest hits of prevention and support sites.

As I resist the urge not to investigate the data further, I think of a Web site I was introduced to recently called everyminute.org. According to the site, about 30,000 people commit suicide in the U.S. annually. Suicide also is the second highest cause of death of those in the 25–34 age range. Untreated mental illness tends to play a big role in suicides. This statistic makes me glad that my mental illness is being treated, however, I still struggle with suicidal thoughts (I have lately). The silver lining in this is that I have a higher chance of overcoming my suicidal actions and behavior thanks to my counseling, medication, and self-education via this blog and the blogs of others.

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4 Comments

  1. April 15, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    I’ve noticed that in India, the idea of getting mental health treatment is taboo for many. Perhaps the influx of pro-suicide websites is at least partially due to that fact?

  2. BPD in OKC said,

    April 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    My husband says he’s found plenty of these websites within the U.S. He told me he learned how to tie a noose from one of them. So they do exist here.

  3. Prester John said,

    April 15, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I too have never found “pro-suicide” sites. I’ve looked. It’s been awhile but I have looked.

  4. April 15, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    “I’ve noticed that in India, the idea of getting mental health treatment is taboo for many. Perhaps the influx of pro-suicide websites is at least partially due to that fact?”
    India has a huge problem with people committing suicide. In my opinion, it’s a common occurrence over there that’s regularly reported in the news. Either that or U.S. news doesn’t like to report suicides every night.
    “My husband says he’s found plenty of these websites within the U.S. He told me he learned how to tie a noose from one of them. So they do exist here.”
    I don’t doubt that they exist; for me, they’ve been harder to find. But like Prester John said, I haven’t looked in a while either.


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