Charities urge suicide and self-harm curbs in Online Safety Bill

Charities urge suicide and self-harm curbs in Online Safety Bill
In brief

Samaritans and other charities have called on the UK Government to incorporate safeguards for suicide and self-harm material in the Online Safety Bill.

The charities that penned the letter urged the UK Government to ensure the new Online Safety Bill contains provisions specifically related to protecting adults and children from harmful material on large and small online platforms.

The Bill is due to resume progress through Parliament before Christmas after a delay in July due to the Conservative Leadership contest.

In a letter to Prime Minister Liz Truss signed by the heads of suicide prevention charity Samaritans, youth suicide prevention charity Papyrus, the NHS Confederation mental health network and the Mental Health Foundation, the organisations wrote: “We urge you to commit to returning the bill to parliament as soon as possible in a form which protects the public from all extremely dangerous suicide and self-harm content. With every day that passes, we lose an opportunity to save lives.”

An inquest last month found 14-year-old Molly Russell killed herself in November 2017 after viewing “extensive amounts” of content online related to suicide, self-harm, depression and anxiety on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.

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