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Chief executive of mental health charity SANE calls for action on suicide websites after schoolgirl’s train death

10:23 16 January 2014

Majorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity SANE

Majorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity SANE

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Websites that promote suicide, self-harm and eating disorders can have a toxic effect on the minds of young people, driving them into an ever-deeper sense of isolation and despair.

Marjorie Wallace commented on the "toxic" effect of suicide websites, which 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson looked at before she died under a train in October 2012Marjorie Wallace commented on the "toxic" effect of suicide websites, which 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson looked at before she died under a train in October 2012

Our own experience is that children and adolescents, if they have suicidal thoughts, can be bullied and lured into the dark hole of cyberspace if exposed to the wrong messages about suicide from websites, blogs, forums and other social networks.

The government must act to control them and force companies which host these sites to provide more sources of support and reliable information.

This is one of the reasons why SANE has launched its new web resource to help prevent suicide, based on our five-year lottery-funded research project into the experiences of those affected by suicide and their families and friends.

SANE on Suicide is designed to be of use to anyone, be they family, friends or healthcare professionals. It aims to help people feel more able to interrupt the downward spiral of a person’s despairing thoughts and have the confidence to intervene.

We must raise awareness and promote education in schools and support families seeking help before more children like Tallulah, who offered so much promise, take that tragic and irrevocable step.

Samaritans provides confidential emotional support to anyone in crisis, around the clock, every day of the year. You can contact Samaritans by calling 08457 90 90 90 or visiting your local branch

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