'He left me a message on Facebook': comparing the risk profiles of self-harming patients who leave paper suicide notes with those who leave messages on new media

Jessica R. Barrett, Hitesh Shetty, Matthew Broadbent, Sean Cross, Matthew Hugo Hotopf, Robert James Stewart, William Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
349 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background In cases of non-fatal self-harm, suicide notes are a major risk factor for repeated self-harm and suicide. Suicide notes can now be left on new media services, emails or text messages, as well as on paper.

Aims In a group of people who had harmed themselves, we aimed to compare new media note-leavers with paper note-leavers and characterise these groups demographically and by risk factors.

Method Clinical notes of patients who presented with non-fatal self-harm to two London emergency departments were anonymously searched for mentions of new media use. These were categorised and risk factors were compared for those who had left a new media note, a paper note, or no note to establish differences in risk of note-leaving.

Results New media note-leaving was associated with younger age and substance use; both risk factors for repeated self-harm. However, suicidal intent remained highest in paper note-leavers.

Conclusions Paper note-leavers remain at greatest risk, however new media note leaving is still correlated with risk factors related to repeated self-harm and suicide. Clinicians should enquire about new media use during emergency department assessments of self-harm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-220
Number of pages4
JournalBritish journal of psychiatry
Volume2
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2016

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of ''He left me a message on Facebook': comparing the risk profiles of self-harming patients who leave paper suicide notes with those who leave messages on new media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this