Support on Social Media
For over 10 years, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has worked with social media platforms and digital communities to establish recommended best practices in suicide prevention for social and digital media.
Safety Processes on Social Media
If you are worried about someone on social media, you can contact safety teams, who will reach out to connect the user with the help they need. *Note: Tumblr no longer directly responds to reports of suicide or self-harm.
The Lifeline has worked with Facebook to develop their supportive community tools, which include resources, messages for you to use, and directly contacting Facebook.
Click below to report messages about suicide or self-harm to Twitter. Twitter will send the user a direct message with the Lifeline number.
To report posts about suicide or self-harm on Instagram: Tap “…” below the post, Tap Report Inappropriate, Select This Photo Puts People At Risk > Self-Harm.
To report a safety concern, press and hold on that Snapchatter's name and tap the gear button. Then, tap 'Report' and reach out to Snapchat, and follow the prompts.
To report suicide or self-harm, click “More.” Highlight and click “Report” in the drop-down menu. Click “Harmful dangerous acts,” then “Suicide or self-injury.” YouTube will review the video and may send a message to the uploader with the Lifeline number.
To report self-harm, use the dropdown in Discord’s report form and select ‘Trust & Safety.’ Under ‘Report Type’, select ‘Self-harm.’ Discord requests (to verify the authenticity of the report) that reporters provide a link to the message where the user expresses such harm, and the steps can be found below.
Safety Processes on Social Media (cont.)
To report for self-harm on TikTok, tap the arrow at the bottom right hand corner of the video. Tap the report icon, select "Self injury" and follow the prompts.
If you're worried about someone, you can let Reddit know by reporting the specific post or comment that worried you and selecting, "Someone is considering suicide or serious self-harm". After you let them know, they'll reach out (confidentially) to put the user in touch with Crisis Text Line's trained Crisis Counselors.
If you come across a pin or comment that is concerning to you, learn how to report Pinterest content below.
Download the Social Media Toolkit
For digital community managers and organizations
How to Engage on Social Media
The “Support for Suicidal Individuals on Social and Digital Media” free toolkit was developed by the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to help digital community managers and social media platforms establish safety policies for helping individuals in suicidal crisis. While we recommend downloading the full kit, we have shared some excerpts below.
One of the first hurdles to cross in establishing a process for suicidal community members is one of identification. How do you know if someone may be in suicidal crisis? Examples of a community post from someone who may be at-risk:
- “Hi, I really need some help, can someone please contact me.”
- “My daughter has fibromyalgia and the treatment alone costs too much for us to keep up with everything else. It’s become a full-time job to take care of her and I don’t know how I can keep going on like this. I feel hopeless with all of this and don’t know how I can keep going.”
- “My 15-year-old son has been texting one of his friends and he has been having what appears to be thoughts of suicide. What should I do?”
- “I’ve been really depressed lately and I don’t know how to deal with this. I have been thinking about suicide lately, my grandfather committed suicide 10 years ago. I’m so scared about all of this.”
If you have identified an individual that is at risk of suicide or in suicidal crisis but doesn’t seem to be at imminent risk, research suggests that the community moderator reach out to that individual directly, through a set of clear processes established by and best suited to the needs of your platform or community.
While we encourage active moderation and response online, we do not encourage community managers to take on the role of mental health care professionals. All engagement with an at-risk individual should be designed to provide appropriate support while connecting that individual to mental health or crisis resources like the Lifeline, your local crisis center, or other local mental health providers.
If, while engaging with an at-risk individual, you believe that the person may actually be at imminent risk of suicide, call 911 or other local emergency services for immediate assistance. Local emergency services are the fastest way to help a person who is at imminent risk. Other resources or protocols may be inappropriate during this situation and should not be applied.
If your organization is interested in a more hands-on approach to crafting suicide prevention protocols, use our Contact Us form below.
Get in touch
Call the Lifeline
Call the Lifeline anytime, 24/7988
Do not use this contact form if you need crisis counseling. If you need immediate help, please call 988 to talk with a trained counselor.Contact Us