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"They aren't all like that": Perceptions of clinical services, as told by self-harm online communities.

Authors
  • Williams, A Jess1
  • Nielsen, Emma2
  • Coulson, Neil S2
  • 1 Nottingham Trent University, UK.
  • 2 University of Nottingham, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of health psychology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Volume
25
Issue
13-14
Pages
2164–2177
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1359105318788403
PMID: 30024273
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Self-harm is a critical public health issue, with strikingly low rates of attendance to clinical services. By offering support, anonymity, and open discussions, online communities hold useful insights into the factors which influence help-seeking behavior. We explore the perceptions of clinical services in three self-harm online communities to understand which services are being used and why. Message threads from each community were extracted randomly until saturation, providing 513 messages across 60 threads. A thematic analysis was performed resulting in four key themes: access to appropriate services during an episode of self-harm, service preference, fears surrounding disclosure, and support.

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