Samaritans welcomes Law Commission's Communications Offences recommendations on self-harm
Responding to today’s recommendations for the Reform of the Communications Offences by the Law Commission, Julia Waltham, Head of Policy, Public Affairs & Campaigns at Samaritans, said:
“We are pleased the Law Commission has recognised the need to tackle content that encourages or assists self-harm online, whilst ensuring vulnerable people are not prosecuted. The Government needs to take its recommendations forward through the Online Safety Bill, to ensure all platforms are required to tackle illegal self-harm, as well as illegal suicide, content without delay.
“We remain concerned, however, that harmful suicide and self-harm content will continue to thrive in the darkest corners of the internet because the Online Safety Bill, as written, lets smaller platforms - including many suicide forums - off the hook around legal but harmful suicide and self-harm content.
“There is so much more to do to support young people around self-harm. Too many are falling between the gaps because they’re considered too high risk for community services and GPs and not high risk enough for specialist mental health services. Alongside these reforms to online spaces, the Government needs to speed up access to the right services for all young people who need them.”