If you’re in immediate danger and feel like you may hurt yourself, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. The emergency services will take you somewhere safe.

Tips to Talk Safley Online about Suicide

The way we talk about suicide online can have a drastic impact on the mental health of others. Social media, forums, chatting services, and even the conversations that you have with your friends or family can all have an effect. The way we talk about suicide matters, not just for others' safety, but in order to normalise openness about the topic. The following tips below will help you to safely talk about suicide online. 

Why are you posting?

It can help to ask yourself why you are posting about suicide in the first place. Whatever the reason may be, think about how the post will affect others. Something that is helpful to one person may be distressing to others. 

Content Warning

While scrolling online, seeing a post about suicide randomly pop up can cause intense anxiety and pain for those that have been through suicidal ideation or bereaved by suicide. Help them out by placing a content warning at the top of any post you make. For instance, “Content warning – this post discusses suicidal thoughts.” Giving people the option to view at their own discretion is a good way to relieve the tension from posts about suicide. 

Sensitive Language

Make sure to take into account the language that you use online when discussing suicidal ideation. For example, stick to saying phrases such as “ended their own life” vs. “committed suicide” which makes suicide sound like a crime, leading to stigmatisation.

Link Support

Whenever you talk bout suicide online, make sure to list supportive services that encourage others to seek help for their own issues. Organizations such as LGBT HERO, Samaritans, Switchboard, and PAPYRUS are all great examples of services that offer amazing support for those that struggle with suicidal ideation. 

Don’t Speculate about Suicide

Try not to “assume” the reasons behind someone ending their own life or the reasons behind the suicidal thoughts that someone has. Suicide is an extremely complex issue and is different for everyone; pinning it to one specific cause is could increase the likelihood of others forming suicidal thoughts as well. There is almost never a single reason why anyone chooses to end their life, so don't spread that misleading narrative in whatever you're posting.

Be Mindful and Think about How Often You Post

It’s ok to pay your tributes to those that have died by suicide, but try to emphasise that their death was preventable. Don't imply that someone has achieved something by ending their life. This kind of post is dangerous as it can suggest to other people that suicide is a potential solution to their distress.

It's also important to think about how often you post. Posting too often about suicide can cause distress for others and can even affect your own wellbeing. 

Never Post Details about Suicide

Avoid posting details about the methods of suicide as it can lead others who are vulnerable to suicidal thoughts to copy these actions. 

Share Hope

Share the positive stories of people that have overcome crises and how they have received from suicidal thoughts and feelings. These stories can encourage vulnerable others to seek help for their own thoughts and feelings.

What Next?

Some additional support if you want to speak to trained staff:

MindOut - LGBTQ+ mental health charity MindOut offers an online support service most evenings from 5:30-7:30pm, and on Sundays from 2-4pm. They can listen to how you’re feeling, and help you think about ways in which you can stay safe.

Full hours and availability can be found here.

Mindline Trans+ - Here to listen and offer support, Mindline Trans+ is helpline dedicated to trans and gender nonconforming people. It's support line is open from Monday and Fridays, 8pm-12am on 0300 330 5468.

LGBT Foundation - Based in Manchester but with a reach much further, LGBT Foundation runs and advice and support line on 0345 3 30 30 30. It's a confidential, non-judgmental service where you can talk about your current situation with a friendly, trained LGBTQ+ person. The line is open weekdays 9am until 9pm and weekends 10am until 6pm.