Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Aims and method: To explore what young people who self-harm think about online self-harm discussion forums. SharpTalk was set up to facilitate shared learning between health professionals and young people who self-harm.We extracted themes and illustrative statements from the online discussion and asked participants to rate statements. Results: Of 77 young people who participated in the forum, 47 completed the questionnaire. They said they learned more about mental health issues from online discussion forums than from information sites, found it easier to talk about self-harm to strangers than to family or friends, and preferred to talk online than face-to-face or on the telephone. They valued the anonymity the forums provided and reported feeling more able to disclose and less likely to be judged online than in 'real life'. Clinical implications: Mental health professionals should be aware of the value of anonymous online discussion forums for some young people who self-harm, so that they can talk about them and assess their use with their patients. Declaration of interest: None.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





364 - 368