Today, social networks have become a means of communication for everyday use, in which people of all ages, especially young people, share photos, ideas, moments of their day to day, etc.
Most of the publications we meet are cheerful and positive, which has caused these media to be considered unreal, as they show a world in which everything is perfect and where there is no room for bad times or not so bad lives. Perfect as the ones we are used to seeing every day.
The other side of social networks are those publications that usually go unnoticed, where a person asks for help through social networks, usually hoping to find a reaction of help from a friend, family member, or anyone. And you ... would you know how to act before a publication that indicates suicidal or self-injurious ideas?
In this article we collect the key points that you should know to know what to do in case you run into a publication of this type; since how to recognize the warning signs, even how to act, either from a known or unknown person.
Detect alert signals
It is important to know how to detect the warning signs, which is much simpler when it comes to people we know or with whom we have a close relationship. The signs are usually:
- Change in the usual tone of writing: Normally each person has a tone or personality in social networks, so if you notice that the person changes their way of expressing themselves, this could be a sign.
- Irritability, anger or revenge: publications in which these emotions are expressed are another sign, as long as it is not a simple isolated publication, everyone can have a bad day.
- Sad photos or posts with sad comments: publications like "I never do anything right", "Nobody would care if I disappear" can be indicators of depression. The same goes for shared photos, it is shown that color and brightness in publications can express mental problems. The use of hashtags is also key, and we must pay attention to them.
- Publications at unusual hours: If the person starts publishing at dawn or at unusual times, it can be a sign of insomnia that could be related to depression or other mental problems.
Obviously, all these signals must be taken in context, as we have already mentioned, an isolated publication does not have to mean anything.
In the case of unknown people, it is much more difficult to detect the warning signs, since we do not know the online personality of that person. Therefore, the signals will be much more explicit, with comments like "I don't want to live anymore" or "Nobody cares."
How to act
Whether a person known or not, it is very important to take seriously the publications that indicate signs of suicide or self-harm. For that reason, our recommendation is to always act. You can act in many different ways, so it is not necessary for you to get in direct contact with the person in question, since not everyone is prepared to deal with such a situation.
Here are the different ways you can help:
Get in touch
- If you feel prepared to take responsibility to start a conversation with the person in question, we recommend get in direct contact, either by phone or by private messages. Some tips that can help you to start a conversation are: Be direct when talking about suicide, listen, do not judge or enter into debate about whether suicide is correct or not and get involved really showing your interest and support for.
- If you do not feel comfortable or prepared To contact the person directly, you we recommend contacting your family or close friends. A simple message explaining why your concern will serve to alert your circle and begin to take action on the matter.
- The best known social networks take suicide prevention seriously. Thanks to the latest advances in Artificial Intelligence, many of these publications are detected directly by the social network itself. However, we should not assume that these publications have already been detected or reported.
- Next, we leave you a list of links to social networks most used, which explains how to act in case you run into a publication that contains suicidal thoughts:
In conclusion, from the MyTherapy team, a free health application on iOS and Android, we want to make everyone aware of the importance of acting before publications that contain ideas and thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
A reaction in time can save a life.