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

I'm baking a ham as we speak...but yes definitely. I have seen the signs through social media and I agree that I think it's often a place young people go to find connection or express themselves in a way they feel comfortable (not to someone's face). On the other hand it's also a place where I have reached out to others or shared messages about mental health 

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

Worryingly social media is also an easy place for people to do the "you're so moody all the time" or "get over it" come up a bit too...

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

Yes, mainly on twitter. Facebook seems to be so much less anonymous.
I've seen mentions on twitter from vague allusions to suicide, to literal threats explaining what they're going to do. It's hard to know what to say in either case.
Xin

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

The only social media platform I really use is Facebook. Occasionally one of my friends will be going through some hard stuff. I'll give you three examples of the sort of posts I've come across:

1) "I've recently gone through [a challenging experience] and I think I have [this mental illness]."
(Later, in the comments section...)
"Turns out that [these symptoms] are all common with [this illness]. Now that I know what it is, I'm okay."

 

2) "I'm so frustrated that [my circumstances are limiting my life choices]. I have trouble imagining a positive future."

3) "I'm so sick of feeling [upset, angry, hurt]. It's so frustrating that my mental health is affecting me so much and preventing me from being happy."


In each of these cases, I (and a one or two others) encouraged the poster to get help or talk to a counsellor about what they were going through. They were all reluctant for various reasons. Although their message was public, they didn't seem to be getting a great deal of support (though I'm glad that I was at least able to be there in these three instances). But I wonder why, with hundreds of people on their friends lists, not more people expressed concern. Perhaps the message wasn't showing up on their newsfeeds, the post was late at night or they just didn't want to get involved.

As to other ways they might be approached... I really wish that everyone had a friend or organisation (like ReachOut, for example) to comment on such messages and just let them know help is out there. I've started making more recommendations to ReachOut, but as one person I can only do so much! I think changing the collective attitude of people is what's needed here. I'd love to see a post where someone says "I'm struggling" and dozens of friends comment expressing support and with ideas for help.

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

I agree. To a degree, social media can be really useful if there are people that you trust - and I mean, really trust - which can make it easier for them to contact them and have a chat. However, if they aren't there or if the conversation becomes awry (e.g. friend's short replies = uninterested, not concerned), expressing the need for help can slip through your fingers. 

 

Reaching out in the same way...it comes down to interpretation. If you read the same conversation repeatedly, you begin to develop a particular perception of that person's actions (e.g. bad day, stressed out, exaggeration) so you "brush" them off, thinking it's the same old experiences and not thinking it's life-threatening. 

___________________________________________________
Stay excellent

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

Hey all, I'm Nathan, and I'm Alumni from the Young and Well CRC's Youth Brains Trust Smiley Happy

 

I have to agree with the comments that have been made that people are usually much more likely to say something on social media than they are in real life to a person. However, given that some people we are friends with on social media may live in a pretty distant place, it can sometimes be hard for us to get them help simply because we don't know how to get urgent messages to the appoprite people in other countries and even other states.

 

Facebook is one I've seen quite a few statuses on - however I know these people from school and was able to summon them help pretty quickly. However, unlike real life as well, social media does operate 24 hours a day, and it can be hard to notice something if someone makes a status at 2:00am, which is one challange that may need to be addressed.

 

Edit: I have seen a couple of statuses of the nature on Facebook in the past.

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

I agree Kat, "that is a problem, not being able to insure a person is safe after a conversation has ended is troubling."

But I guess it's also about recognising where your boundaries lie, and figuring out whether it's your responsibility or theirs to get help ... Majorlly hard decision to make, but I guess we can't always helpeveryone... :s

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

I see so many suicidal thoughts posted on Facebook. Usually by people I know who are younger than me (mostly late teens) and who I'm not in touch with anymore. And I also come across clients who say they tried to reach out to people with their status update and got no response. I think in many situations Facebook is seen as a therapeutic tool by young people - perhaps we need a specific site where people can discuss their difficulties - like a Facebook for people who are conscious of mental health and want to talk about theirs and others. Not sure if that already exists?

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

Sorry I forgot to specify Facebook - I've received the odd Facebook chat message and reached out that way. I have seen a lot of stuff on spaces like Tumblr though which could be the anonymous factor pointed out above.

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

And also difficult sometimes if the person isn't in your state and you don't know phone numbers or addresses