Using Social Media to Help Prevent Suicide
We covered suicide prevention last week and the efforts of one organization to reach out to communities across the nation to save lives. But is there anything you can do as an individual to help others deal with their suicide crisis?
Using Social Media to Relate with Others in Need
Today, we interview one person who does just that. Sandra Kiume has been been helping others via social media through her Twitter account @unsuicide. Sandra has been a blogger for ScienceBlogs.com and deals with bipolar disorder and OCD in her own life.
When she read about an incident on Twitter involving a man who tweeted suicidal messages but received encouragement and mockery in reply, she was troubled by the lack of useful suicide prevention services on that social network.
In response, she started @unsuicide to bridge this gap. Providing peer support as a suicide attempt survivor, she now helps people find services local to them including counseling and suicide hotlines, as well as resources online. @unsuicide also tweets resources that are useful to people in crisis, such as a guide to coping with suicidal thoughts, and a wiki listing mental health services available online without a phone.
Without providing crisis counseling, Sandra, as @unsuicide, reaches out to those in need and shares valuable information that is retweeted by dozens of people every day. She proves one person can make a difference.
The first question we asked Ms. Kiume: is there actually a need for this type of help on Twitter? Listen to her response:
Share Your Experience and Thoughts on Preventing Suicide
Have you ever helped somebody avoid suicide? Have you guided friends or family members through this difficult experience? Please share your insights in the comments below.
Cootey, D. (2011, September 26). Using Social Media to Help Prevent Suicide, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, October 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/radioshowblog/2011/09/using-social-media-to-help-prevent-suicide
Author: Douglas Cootey
Thanks again for the interview! I worked for ScienceBlogs for a couple of years in the past, but my current employer is PsychCentral and my blog is Channel N. Channel N features brain and behaviour videos, including many on the topic of suicide and suicide prevention.