Broadband News

Government invests in suicide prevention

The UK Government has announced a commitment to put £1.5m into research as to how to prevent suicide amongst those most at risk. At first glance this seems an unusual story for thinkbroadband to cover, but part of the strategy announced today appears to mesh with the consultations into parental controls, and the wider debate about what should and not be blocked on the Internet.

"Working with the media, and with the internet industry through members of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) to help parents ensure their children are not accessing harmful suicide-related websites, and to increase the availability and take-up of effective parental controls to reduce access to harmful websites."

One key action area, in Suicide Prevention Strategy

The Guardian coverage details that the research will also explore how and why suicidal people use the Internet. The Register suggests Sunday Times coverage went further than the press releases, with suggestions that the new prevention strategy would also call on broadband providers to block suicide websites, whether this is actually a call for a mandatory blocking (i.e. adding to the IWF blocking) or just a stronger worded way of saying parental controls should be publicised more is unknown.

The Internet has been a great leveler of society, allowing people to engage with many others, and increase their social circle. Alas at the same time it can lead to some people cutting themselves off from the more traditionally social circles, and as with many aspects to life finding the correct balance is crucial. The biggest problem with Internet based social circles is that too many people adopt a different persona online, which can mask underlying problems or see people being misled by Internet trolls.

Interestingly when using Google to find articles for this item, Google includes the telephone number for the Samaritans in the UK, 08457 90 90 90. Talking to another person who will listen unconditionally is crucial for many, and we hope that any moves that may force additional blocking on providers is backed up with making sure that those with worries can easily find someone to talk to, rather than a stonewall of legislation.


The problem with filtering is making it accurate, denying access to "pro suicide" sites is as likely to catch support groups etc as the intended target.

  • herdwick
  • over 8 years ago

So we have government that makes noises on one hand about a "suicide-prevention strategy" (ugly inhuman bureaucrat-speak) and at the same time about "right to die" for the terminally ill. All mixed up. Suicide is the end of a long process of failure for all of society, so rather than tackle that, let's set the PR machine on to it with a few sound bites. It used to be the fault of evil books and mags now it's the evil internet: same old, same old, find any scapegoat.

  • mervl
  • over 8 years ago

Just don't play or run and data streams backwards.

  • drteeth
  • over 8 years ago

Just don't play or run *any data streams backwards.

  • drteeth
  • over 8 years ago

maybe they should stop robbing the ppl's money & handing it over to the corporations/bankers/terrorists (foreign aid)/ illegally invading other countries using our money to make the corporations richer. stop atos murdering disabled ppl. stop cutting public funding. stop selling us all out through privatisation!

  • pigfister
  • over 8 years ago

People whom I have been aware of over my lifetime who committed suicide had little or no contact with the internet. Somehow they don't even want to be talked out of it. Sad because life is short enough without a premature end.

  • meldrew
  • over 8 years ago

We as parents are primarily responsible for monitoring what our kids do on the web. Others can only help but it is us who need to take the initiative. I have a parental control app called Qustodio installed on both my kid's computers. Its free and has allowed me to keep a tab on my kid's online activities effectively. All of us must have some sort of similar protection.

  • adelaidemaisy
  • over 8 years ago

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