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Journal Articles Frontiers in Psychology Year : 2018

Leveraging the Web and Social Media to Promote Access to Care Among Suicidal Individuals


After two decades of exponential development, the Internet has become an inseparable component of suicide prevention matters. More specifically, social media has turned out to be a privileged space for suicidal individuals to express their distress and seek support. Although this tendency carries with it specific risks and challenges, it creates unprecedented opportunities to face the challenges of help seeking and access to care. In this paper, we present the empirical, technological, and theoretical evidence supporting the implementation of a digitally augmented prevention policy that would increase its reach. Congruent to the clinical observations and theories on the help-seeking process, we argue that social media can help undertake three main functions of increasing proactivity to bring suffering Web users to care. The gateway function relates to the properties of social media interactions to leverage help-seeking barriers and enable ambivalent individuals to access the mental healthcare system. The communication outreach function Aims:to broadcast pro-help-seeking messages, while drawing on the functional structure of the social media network to increase its audience. The intervention outreach function consists in using machine learning algorithms to detect social media users with the highest risk of suicidal behaviors and give them a chance to overcome their dysfunctional reluctance to access help. We propose to combine these three functions into a single coherent operational model. This would involve the joint actions of a communication and intervention team on social networks, working in close collaboration with conventional mental health professionals, emergency service, and community resources.
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hal-03480094 , version 1 (20-01-2022)



Charles-Edouard Notredame, Pierre Grandgenèvre, Nathalie Pauwels, Margot Morgiève, Marielle Wathelet, et al.. Leveraging the Web and Social Media to Promote Access to Care Among Suicidal Individuals. Frontiers in Psychology, 2018, 9, pp.1338. ⟨10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01338⟩. ⟨hal-03480094⟩
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