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Bridgend copycat suicides linked to online networking
Added: 23rd Jan 2008

Today Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, commented on the spate of copycat suicides in the Bridgend area, which may be linked to the use of the internet, in particular social networking websites:

"SANE is aware that suicide ‘clusters’ erupt for no known reason in some areas. What is disturbing is that in the past copycat suicides would often be between friends, but now they may be fuelled by the power of virtual networks which can encourage and condone someone who is suicidal, leaving them far more isolated and mentally adrift.

"At SANE we receive hundreds of calls from people who are self-harming or reporting suicidal thoughts, feelings and plans - many of whom may be suffering from underlying mental health problems. Our helpline can provide support and advice to those who are in crisis or suicidal, who may feel they have nowhere else to turn."

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For further information, please contact the SANE media department on 020-7422 5556 or 07718 735121 (out of hours).

Notes:

SANEmail, SANE’s new email support service, runs alongside our national helpline to provide an additional channel of support to those affected by mental health issues. It can be contacted at sanemail@sane.org.uk.

SANEline is a national out-of-hours telephone helpline offering emotional support and information for people affected by mental health problems. It is open from 1pm to 11pm every day of the year, including the Christmas and New Year period, on 0845 767 8000.

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