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AAS releases suicide and social media tipsheet for parents and providers

In response to recent events surrounding social media and suicide content, the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), in partnership with pediatricians and subject matter experts, has released an easy-to-use tipsheet for parents, health and behavioral health providers, and caregivers. It is the goal of AAS and our member experts to provide parents and providers the help they need to make the world safer for youth at risk for suicide.

“Increasingly, as children live digital lives, they will be at risk of encountering disturbing images of suicide and self-injury. The social media-based platform fixes for this will take some time to achieve. Until that time, it’s the responsibility of parents and clinicians to take an active interest in keeping children safe on digital and social media platforms,” said April Foreman, PhD, Executive Committee Member of the AAS Board. “We hope that as parents and providers take a more active role, that social media platforms will be good community partners and develop the solutions our children need to be safe in the digital spaces they’re likely to visit.”

Social media has its inherent benefits (community, connectedness, and recreation) and disadvantages (potential isolation, sharing age-inappropriate content, and anonymized discrimination) and understanding a child’s use of it can provide adults with the foundation of a strategy for everyday household use. This tipsheet is meant to be the first step in that process.