To describe the information and help available on the internet for people who self-harm. We searched the internet using a meta-search engine. We visited sites and followed up links with e-mails and letters. We also searched bibliographic databases, seeking published material about the internet and self-harm.
The support that we found largely took the form of information about suicide, self-injury and psychological issues. Less often, sites offered e-mail support and online discussions. We found little information about self-poisoning, and most about self-injury. There is little published research about self-harm and the internet.
The unregulated sites of the internet contain much material about self-injury. Although it is not possible at present to weigh up risks and benefits, many individuals and organisations plainly regard internet information about self-harm as a valuable service.