8 online experiences linked to suicide in kids and teens

By Rebecca Ruiz: For Complete Post, click here…

New research points to these painful experiences.

When a child or teenager attempts or dies by suicide, it sets off a desperate search to understand why. While that’s the case with many suicide attempts or deaths regardless of the person’s age, a child’s vulnerability and relative innocence creates a particularly heartbreaking contrast with their feelings of hopelessness.

A new study aims to better understand one set of risk factors for youth: their online experiences. Published Monday in JAMA Open Networkthe study analyzes data collected by Bark, a parental and school monitoring app that tracks a child’s online activity and uses artificial intelligence to detect signs of recent or imminent self-harm or suicidal thinking or behavior. Once the system flags concerning activity, like a Google search for suicide methods or harassing instant messages from a peer, it alerts the child’s caregiver or a school official, if the device being monitored is used for classwork.

(T)he researchers found an association between suicide attempts and self-harm and exposure to the following types of content: cyberbullying, violence, drugs, hate speech, profanity, depression, low-severity self-harm, and sexually suggestive language or media, which could depict graphic acts or abuse. When a student experienced five or more of those risk factors, they were 70 times more likely to have a suicide attempt or self-harm alert.

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