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Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

I agree with everyone else here but also think that sometimes we just get used to using these mediums to express ourselves and share our highs and lows that sometimes it might be just for the relief of getting feelings out ? And that sometimes it's SMS dependent on relationships as I have experienced that too from someone close to me

Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

 

Alright everyone, we're about to shift into the *really important* part of the discussion about what processes can be put in place in social media to help young people when they're in crisis?

 

Question THREE

 

What could be put in place to reduce the risk of young people talking about suicide on social media?

 

Assuming you were a young person reading a post that mentioned suicide on social media, what kind of action would you take?

 

What kind of response would you expect from a social media channel?

 

What do young people expect from processes put in place to deal with this? What should the extent of the mitigation/intervention be?’ (i.e. how far should the intervention go, should parents/police get involved, or should it stay online?)

 

...there are actually quite a few questions here, but they're all about what we can DO - what processes can be put in place. Answer some or all of them as you choose, but focus on what we can do.

 

PS. Keep yourself safe, calm and well tonight. 

Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

Why do young people turn to social media in really difficult times?


We live in a world where technology is literally everywhere. Turning to social media is the instant tool, if not the instant "solution" even if it's a hit and miss. Social media is also always awake. For instance, if you were having some thoughts and in a difficult situation in the late hours of the night or early hours of the morning, you can go online, search for someone that shows that they're online and try talk to them about it. It's unlikely that you'd phone someone during those hours to talk. 

 

What do we know about young people's intentions when they go online and talk about suicide - are young people using SM to express suicidal ideation asking for help?

I actually don't know what SM stands for...

 

Anyway, young peoples' intentions can come from a range of reasons - spread awareness, exaggeration (possible attention-seeking or had a day that was just horrible) and then there's the real deal. I think that young people go online to find someone that can reassure them and calm them down first - some might just want someone to tell them what they want to hear, or they may secretly want someone that can persuade them to seek help. 

 

Are young people using this space to feel supported/accepted? Are they using it as a channel to reach the audience they want to know about their feelings?


That's a tough question but yes. To have a trusting person to talk to is a key to support and/or acceptance. But even if you trust someone, there's the implications of them recording, copy-pasting, talking about it to someone else without consent. Because social media is instant and easy to use, it's something that can be utilised as a channel for that first step, to recognise what's going on. 

 

 

___________________________________________________
Stay excellent

Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

I think young people are turning to social media in difficult times for all these reasons! It can be seen as someone asking for help but also for reassurance that they’re not the only one feeling that way. On tumblr, once you start looking for this stuff it’s like a community of young people challenged by suicidal thoughts and although there’s many messages of support sent about, like Myvo said pictures of self harm and such are reposted and liked which can be seen as a form of encouragement, as with Facebook. 

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Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

I think young people turn to social media in difficult times because, even if they want to deal with their problems on their own, deep down they really want other people to know how much they're hurting. To many people, social media might provide an avenue that feels safe where they can start to drop hints about what's really bothering them, and have people take notice of them. Of course, this can lead to problems with being ignored and isolated (which we talked about earlier).

 

I know that personally when I was going through a rough time, I sent an email to a random email address, just so I could tell someone how I was feeling. It didn't matter who, as long as I got it off my chest. (As it happened, they replied, and were very confused why I was contacting them.)

 

A few people mentioned earlier about attention seeking. After some reflection, I realised that it's easy to adopt that attitude even subconsciously. When someone, particularly someone you feel you know well enough to have an obligation to help, expresses a serious problem, it can be really challenging to step up and be the support they need. Especially if you're blindsided at two in the morning, and you really don't want to deal with it right now. I think "attention seeking" is a way many people justify not having to deal with the discomfort they feel when confronted with someone's problems.

 

Pretty much all human beings want the same things- to feel loved, accepted, supported, safe etc. When a person doesn't have access to these, they might (very reasonably) try to reach for it via social media. This doesn't always end well, but there is potential for some of their needs to be met online (especially if they're directed to sites concerned with their mental health and wellbeing).

Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

Another thing that makes it difficult with SM is when people post something really abstract but which someone could interpret as being "suicidal ideation". That has happened a number of times on facebook and then if you ask them if they are okay, they say, something like "yeah, as if you'd care though". So then it creates a really negative cycle.

 

Why do young people turn to social media in really difficult times?
Beause it's there! It's something that yp use nearly 24/7... It's on our smartphones, it's on our laptops. As someone else said, we share everything on social media (including when we go to the toilet wtf?!). It is often anonymous and we don't need to see anyone's reaction to what we say. We don't see the concern in the person's eyes. But I also think that it's similar reasons why services such as Kids Help Line (especially online) and eHeadspace work so well, because we also don't have those reactions. But yp need to be more aware of those kinds of services instead of using facebook and twitter for support.

 

What do we know about young people's intentions when they go online and talk about suicide - are young people using SM to express suicidal ideation asking for help?

Either/or/neither. Sometimes it IS for attention. To see who DOES care enough to see how they are, to check up on them, to reach out and give them a shoulder to cry on. It can definitely be TRUE suicidal ideation though as seen in news reports lately. 

 

Are young people using this space to feel supported/accepted? Are they using it as a channel to reach the audience they want to know about their feelings?
Both. They want all of the above. More often than not we have a larger network of "friends" on social media. And we mightn't have many friends at all offline so we use our online friends to fulfil the void and to show us they care and we are accepted/supported. But it can definitely backfire.

Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

I have to log out guYs - Christmas party in progress but thank you

Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

Thanks for your thoughts @DarwinLoz!

Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

Thanks for participating Loz!!! Enjoy the xmas party!

Re: Talking about suicide on social media - have your say!

When people make suicidal comments on SM - I think it's essential to have some sort of redirection from SM sites to other sites equipt to deal with suicidal ideation, such as eheadspace. I don't know how to find those comments (automatic  word recognition or something....?), but once the comments are found the writer needs to be shown other avenues where their needs are more likely to be met - i.e. where they're going to have a caring and consistent response from the person on the other end.