If you’re concerned about someone because of the content of their 'post', talk to the person directly, either on or offline, before posting your concerns. It may also be helpful for you to inform a 'trusted adult or friend' and, if available, seek professional advice. If you are concerned about someone who has experienced suicidal thoughts, feelings, or behaviour, do not post anything you would not say directly to them in-person.
Reaching out to others online can be an important source of affirmation, connection and support for many. Always take any content that suggests a person may be thinking about suicide seriously, but make sure you set boundaries about the type of support you are able to offer and when you are able to offer it.
Regardless of whether you think someone may be at immediate risk of suicide or not, you should put your own wellbeing first and do not put yourself in any physical danger.
Responding to someone who may be suicidal
Before responding to someone who has indicated they may be at risk of suicide, check in with yourself.
If you decide to respond to a person who may be at risk of suicide, let the person know that you care about them and respond without judgement, assumptions or interruptions.
There are many complex factors that lead to someone feeling suicidal, so it is important to communicate about suicide in a safe way.
Ask the person directly if they are thinking of suicide.
Reassure the person that support is available and encourage them to seek professional help
Call 000 or contact the person's family or someone in their social network who may be able to check on them
Social media platforms often encourage the use of images, photos, videos and other multimedia. However, these can sometimes have unintended harmful consequences
Have a plan in place about what to do if a person indicates that they are feeling distressed as a result of your post.
You might find it helpful to have a plan in place about what to do if a person indicates that they are feeling distressed as a result of your 'post'.
For example, you could provide them with information about or a link to a support service such as a suicide prevention or counselling helpline.
If you include links to support services, they should be placed clearly at the beginning of your post and only include services that you know are reputable.
It can also be helpful to emphasise parts of your experience that demonstrate the importance of seeking help early and messages that reduce stigma and promote hope and recovery. Some examples include:
Whether you are an occasional or frequent user of social media, be aware that sometimes repeated exposure to negative content could impact upon your own wellbeing.
Whether you are an occasional or frequent 'user' of 'social media', be aware that sometimes repeated exposure to negative content (e.g. conversations, images or videos about suicide) could impact upon your own wellbeing. It’s also possible that a one-off 'post' may trigger negative thoughts and feelings. It’s important to have a plan in place in case you do feel upset or troubled by posts that you have shared or seen.
If you are feeling upset or overwhelmed, there are a few things that you could try:
☎️ Australian online and phone support services
📔 Social media platform resources
☎️ Call 000
For less urgent assistance, contact one of the following support services.
Provides free 24/7 telephone, online, and video counselling and crisis support to all Australians affected by suicide.
☎️ Call 1300 659 467
🌏️ Visit suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Provides free 24/7 online and phone personal crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians.
☎️ Call 13 11 14
🌏️ Visit lifeline.org.au
Provides free and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling for children and young people aged between five and 25 years.
☎️ Call 1800 551 800
🌏️ Visit kidshelpline.com.au
Provides email, chat and phone counselling for young people aged between 12 and 25 years. eheadspace operates seven days a week, from 9:00am to 1:00am AEDST.
☎️ Call 1800 650 890
🌏️ Visit eheadspace.org.au
Australian suicide prevention resources available through different 'social media' platforms.
Facebook Help Centre has a number of tools to help people who have come across suicide-related material. The Suicide Prevention Help Centre provides information on how to report suicide content to a trained member of their safety team who will identify the 'post' and the location of the 'user'. If necessary, they can contact emergency services to assist those at risk of suicide or self-harm. The Suicide Prevention Help Centre also provides information on country-specific suicide prevention helplines to assist people who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviour.
Instagram Help Centre provides details to assist users to report content that suggests a person may be at risk of suicide or self- harm. Users can report content by
The help centre also provides links to suicide prevention websites and hotlines that can assist people during a suicidal crisis.
Snapchat Support Centre recommends users who are concerned about a fellow user encourage the person to seek help or consult with a professional service. If users don’t feel comfortable engaging with the person who may be at risk of suicide, they can report a safety concern by:
Twitter Help Centre provides information on how to report self-harm and suicide-related content to a trained team devoted to responding to people who share content that suggests they may be at risk of self-harm or suicide. Information on how to recognise the signs of self-harm and suicide are provided, as well as an online form to alert the Twitter suicide prevention response team.