Understanding Online Posts About Suicidal Thoughts And Behavior: A Thematic Analysis
Suicide is a leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 29 worldwide. Many young people experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) do not disclose to friends or family or seek professional help; however, it is common among this age group to seek support online. Reddit is a popular website that offers an online discussion forum specific to STBs. The aim of the present study was to understand the experiences that young people share in relation to STBs on Reddit. The author used a thematic analysis approach to analyze 117 suicide-related posts. Results suggest that young people posting online about suicide have needs related to expression of their experiences and communication with likeminded others. Understanding these needs offers a pathway to supporting people who may not otherwise seek help. Implications for research and clinical intervention are discussed.