Some argue the relationships we build through social media aren’t “real” (we respectfully disagree; we know you’re real!), others see networks like Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram as a springboard to connect with people in an unplugged environment as well.
But what happens when a member of your social network is in crisis?
If one of your social media connections is expressing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline recommends posting a message encouraging them to call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The site also offers an online chat option and accessibility options for the deaf.
You can also contact the safety teams at the following social media sites for help:
- Facebook: You can use this form to anonymously report someone as suicidal on Facebook. A member of Facebook’s Safety Team will send the user an email with the Lifeline number and/or a link to chat with a Lifeline counselor. [Tweet this.]
- Twitter: Use this support form and select “report self harm” in the drop-down window to send an email to Twitter notifying them of a suicidal user. Twitter will send the user a direct message with the Lifeline number. [Tweet this.]
- YouTube: You can report suicidal content by clicking on the flag icon under a video and select “Harmful dangerous acts” and then “Suicide or self injury” (see below).
YouTube will review the content and may send a message to the user with the Lifeline phone number.
Whether you’re connected IRL (that’s “in real life”) or through a social networking site, you’re never on your own when a friend needs help. Use these resources to connect your friend in crisis with trained professionals who know how to handle the situation.
It’s what real friends do.