If you or someone you know is at risk of self-harm or suicide, you should seek help as soon as possible by contacting agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Also alert the team devoted to handling threats of self-harm or suicide if you encounter such threats on Twitter.
Twitter’s approach to self-harm and suicide threats
After we assess a report of self-harm or suicide, Twitter will contact the reported user and let him or her know that someone who cares about them identified that they might be at risk. We will provide the reported user with available online and hotline resources and encourage them to seek help.
Recognize the signs
Judging behavior based on online posts alone is challenging, but there are potential warning signs or indicators for self-harm or suicide. Below are questions to ask yourself to help assess if another user is feeling suicidal:
- Does this person post content about depression or feelings of hopelessness?
- Is this person posting comments about death or feelings that death is the only option?
- Is he or she posting comments about having attempted suicide in the past?
- Is he or she describing or posting photos of self-harm or identifying him or herself as suicidal?
- Has his or her mood and the content of his or her posts changed recently?
If you’ve assessed the situation, and know the person involved, encourage him or her to seek professional help. If, on the other hand, you don’t know the person involved, you may still contact them to express concern or refer him or her to a counselor, a suicide hotline, or someone who might know them better. If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to the person on your own or aren’t sure how to reach them, you can also alert Twitter.
Dealing with thoughts of self-harm or suicide
If you are having thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or depression, please reach out to someone and request help. You can reach out to these resources for a variety of reasons, including depression, loneliness, substance abuse, illness, relationship problems, and economic problems.
Depression has a variety of symptoms and affects millions of adults each year. Common symptoms include sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, loss of energy, difficulty thinking and possibly thoughts of suicide. You might exhibit these types of behaviors or they might be subtler. Either way, don’t ignore them.
If you would want help from trusted professionals, there are many online resources that can be of help.