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What can be done about all these suicidal people?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21544 points ) November 27th, 2012

In the past 2 or 3 weeks, I have come across about 20 people online who were talking about killing themselves, at least 3 of these seemed credible and serious to me.

I think suicidal people really do use the internet quite often to vent, or advertise, or seek help.

The internet seems to have 2 main reactions to people who talk about suicide. Those being to either disbelieve and mock them, or to delete their post or moderate them some how. It seems very rare that anyone actually offers up any real help or advice.

Now, I don’t really care if people want to kill themselves, specially if they are just a random stranger on the internet, but I do think there should be a way of at least giving them a chance to think about it twice before doing it.

When I look online, I find plenty of services for those who are suicidal, from the samaritans in the UK, to the national suicide prevention lifeline in the USA. However, people don’t seem to go to these services, they instead seem to gravitate towards forums and social websites.

Personally, if I was serious about killing myself, and I tried to reach out one final time before going through with it, I too would not use an official service, as I would be worried about them contacting the authorities, or just fobbing me off with their best practiced “you have so much to live for” sales pitch.

So I have been wondering, what can be done about all the suicidal people. In all the years I have been online, and all the suicide posts I have seen, I have to believe on number alone, that at least 1 person I have spoken to, or whos words I have read, has actually gone ahead with it.

Is there a global service these people can be pointed to, that does not just deal with suicidal people in their own country?

Is there a service these people can be pointed to, that will actually be used by them without fear?

Is there a way of creating a service for them, that they will be likely to use and benefit from?

What can be done in general about all the suicidal people?

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