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

How are young people using social media in the context of suicidal ideation or when concerned about others at risk? What are the avenues being used (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube) and do these mediums need to be approached in different ways?
I am definitely going to repeat different things that people have already said, but social media is definitely a place that yp go when they are feeling alone and especially if they don't feel as though they can say how they are feeling out loud. I know people who have an amazing support network but to be able to admit to them they are feeling suicidal or that they want to hurt themselves is a massive thing to do and often I think they "play around" with saying it on social media first to test other people's reactions and to also gain insight into how a health professional may react if they admit that they are at risk. Furthermore, it is an even bigger problem in yp who are under 18 as most realize that if they admit suicidal ideation to health professionals a parent or caregiver WILL be told which is a HUGE thing for a yp especially if they are trying to "deal with things themselves".


They do need to be approached in different ways. Personally, I am much more open on my twitter account as I have my account set to protected (apart from when I'm at special events) and no one from my "everyday" life is on there - e.g. no work friends or relatives. Whereas facebook is more "everyday" for most people - most people have facebook (including my mum!) so I'm going to be more picky about what is posted on facebook. Other social media avenues like blogs, are also important as a lot more suicidal ideation goes on in them too! I also think it's probably easier to stay anonymous on twitter (and I also know of people who have separate twitter accounts). And it's also easier to unfollow someone on twitter.

 

Have you seen suicide and suicidal thoughts talked about on social media? Where (e.g. a facebook message? on twitter?)

Twiter much more than facebook, but also blogs. I also have a friend who comes to me on facebook chat at times when she has suicidal ideation. That is very difficult as it's much more "in your face".

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

I'd like to bring up something else with social media. Apart from using it to seek help and support from online counsellors, family and/or friends, there's also the fact that young people might use it to self-diagnose themselves. Whether they're "corrent" or not, there's so many implications to it: persuasion from peers that said person has _______, denial, pressure and overwhelming thoughts - which could make things more worse than they seem or extreme exaggeration. 

 

Like Lauren said, on platforms such as FB, there is the "get over it" attitude when it comes to seeking help. 

 

I think that with that attitude, young people feel inclined  to live with the "guilt" of being a "coward" so they keep it to themselves, feeling more lonely than before. 

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Stay excellent

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

Have you seen suicide and suicidal thoughts talked about on social media? Where (e.g. a facebook message? on twitter?)

Yes I have. On twitter and tumblr.... I had to make the hard choice to call emergency services for one of them. I was terrified of betraying that person, by doing so, but it turned out that it was the right decision in the long run.

Lots of yp blog about tough times etc, I just dont read too much of them, or dont read at all to try and look out for myself at the same time!

Having said that, I too have posted some worrying thoughts on social media, but soon discovered that my friends and others were right, they kept posting emergency contacts like kidshelpline and headspace and eheadspace etc... so I began contacting them instead.,... not only was better for my friends, but better for me in learning to seek professional help instead of 'fishing' for support.
kat

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

Yup, i have also seen is frequently on facebook. luckily, i usually only see supportive replies to some of the status' that people make which hint at suicidal ideation. Though, I people have said that they tend to ignore people that make these status' because they believe it to be attention seeking behaviour. - would you guys say that you have come across this attitude too?

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

Definitely need to be approached differently - I think some are much more public - like Twitter or YouTube. I use Twitter as more of a 'youth leader'/advocate me and to create more professional networks and don't lock my account meaning I don't post anything that is uber personal

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

Definitely people talking about attention seeking!

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

Definitely agree that yp seem to reach out on these platforms for validation and also agree with the "dr google" ideation - I have these symptoms so I MUST have this disorder/illness. I do believe though that most of the time posting suicidal ideation posts on social media ends up being so much more harmful for the young person then helpful. It just ends up making them feel more alone as no one responds (although there is always that ONE person who seems to post about stuff like that constantly and ALWAYS gets helpful replies!).

Having friends in other places is a huge challenge of social media but I guess in one sense it is "easier" to "ignore" when you know you can't get in touch with them. Obviously it's better to not ignore a person when they post these things but it happens all the time and I imagine it would be harder to ignore those cries for help if you were within walking person of the person. I don't know how much sense that is making...

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

How do you (those of you who have had to decide what to do about a suicidal message you've received) feel when someone contacts you directly about feeling suicidal? I know that I've worked with some young people who have felt angry at their friends for contacting them at 2am with a message because they've felt so helpless and in such a difficult position. How do we help young people to care for themselves in that moment and get themselves the help they need rather than placing the responsibility on their friends?

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

I think young people are using social media more and more as a way to vent, like a diary. I’ve personally found on the anonymous networks such as tumblr, suicidal thoughts are regularly posted and easier to find then on Facebook or twitter. However I’ve seen public facebook/twitter statuses and messages suggesting suicide/self harm more frequently than in the past. I suppose using these networks enables friends/family to reach out to the person unlike sites such as tumblr where you can have no idea who the poster is or where they are. For this reason yes, I do think they need to be approached differently.

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

I feel anxious but glad they felt they could reach out to someone.