Samaritans is developing a hub of excellence in suicide prevention and the online environment, working in partnership with Department of Health and Social Care, Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.
The three-year programme aims to promote consistently high standards across the sector by providing a centralised space for those working in and around the industry to find support and guidance, providing opportunities to convene and share best practice. The programme includes:
A research and insight programme – the Online Excellence Programme will be shaped by a research programme to better understand the impact of self-harm and suicide content online and what makes content harmful, when and to whom. The impact of removing content on vulnerable users will also be explored.
Industry guidelines – developed in collaboration with government, industry, academics and third sector organisations, our guidelines support sites and platforms in managing self-harm and suicide related content online using safe and sensitive approaches. They are made up of best practice principles to help sites minimise access to potentially harmful content and maximise opportunities for support.
An online harms advisory service – aimed at sites and platforms, as well as professionals working in this space, such as voluntary sector organisations and people working in public or mental health services. The advisory service provides bespoke and confidential advice and support on managing issues relating to self-harm and suicide content online, with the aim of reducing the risk of harm this content can pose to users.
A hub of user resources – a series of resources will be developed helping people to stay safe online when posting or viewing content relating to self-harm and suicide. These will be co-designed with people with personal experience and will aimed at young people, parents, teachers and clinicians.