The 1st Thing You Should Do After Reading Suicidal Social Media

 Why do you need to think about this stuff?

  • You’re probably not a person who is about to commit suicide.
  • You’re probably not a therapist or trained professional in dealing with suicide.
  • You probably don’t drive past a potential suicide attempt every day on the way to work.

You could just call 911, or DuckDuckGo search for a suicide hotline phone number. (It’s 1-800-273-TALK by the way.)

(I’m on a mission to replace the verb Google with DuckDuckGo.)

Here’s why: the internet is ripe with people, particularly young people, posting all sorts of messages of grave concern.

They are using Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Personal Blogs, and more to publish how they feel – and sometimes, it is not good.

I have been browsing around various communities for the last year or so, and I have read some very disturbing posts.

The Internet Makes It Likely To Happen To You.

The chances are very high that you will encounter someone on social media whom you know personally that needs help.

  • One in four people suffer from mental illness.
  • Not all mental illnesses lead to self-harm, but they all require help.
  • You know more than four people.

There are many degrees to this issue, questions to pose about standards and practices, and repercussions of poor courses of action.

One of the glaring issues is that mental health resources seem to be scattered across thousands of websites. I will attempt to tackle these questions in future posts, but I would like to start with this proposition:

If you see a concerning post, or your child reports one to you, the single best thing you can do is to immediately pick up the phone and call the person in question (or, their parents if necessary).

What Should You Say When You Call?

Just say “Hey ____, I read your post. Would you like me to come over so you can talk about it?” Or, “Hi Mrs. ____, I don’t want to alarm you but Johnny posted something disturbing today. I think you should go talk to him.”

It’s really that simple. We will discuss all of the other possible steps to take later. I believe that the best thing to do is make immediate personal contact. Not to wait, or wonder if it’s wrong or right.

Remember, these are people whom you know personally in your network of peers. Not strangers. The best protection we have from anything is each other.

What do you think?


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