Embracing Life

Safer Conversations about Suicide on Social Media – by Mental Health Commission of Canada

When sharing thoughts, feelings, and experiences:

• Focus on resilience, hope, and recovery.
• Consider your privacy, both now and in the future.
• Talk about how you sought help, if you’ve done so.
• Consider adding warnings about sensitive content.
If posting about someone who’s had suicidal thoughts or died by suicide:
• Think about whether your post will be helpful.
• Be considerate toward others’ feelings of grief and loss.
• Use neutral and respectful language that inspires hope and help seeking.
What to avoid:
• Violating a person’s privacy or confidentiality.
• Speculating about their thoughts and feelings.
• Posting or sharing inaccurate information.
• Describing methods or locations.
• Offering simplistic explanations.
Here is an example of a thoughtful response – My friend died by suicide two years ago today. My heart still aches. If you are in crisis, please reach out. People care more than you realize.
Before checking in with someone you’re worried about and who may be thinking about suicide:
• Know what you will do if they are thinking of suicide.
• Know how to reach their support person, parent, or guardian.
• Try to find a trusted person you could talk to for advice.
Things to remember:
• If you’re unsure or uncomfortable, talk to someone you trust.
• Never post your conversations with others.
• It’s OK to ask someone, “Are you thinking about suicide?”
• Practice self-care and reach out to others for support.
When someone is not at immediate risk:
• Ask if they want to talk about it.
• Offer to help them access support.
• Connect them with services when possible (such as a crisis line, family physician, or guidance teacher)
When someone is at immediate risk:
• Encourage the person to call 911, or call it yourself.
• Contact the person’s family to check in on them.
• Contact a trusted adult right away.


Here is an example of a Direct Message, if you are worried about a friend or family member:
Hey, I noticed you’ve been really down at school lately. I just wanted to check in. Are you thinking of suicide? Asking about suicide is OK. You won’t put an idea into a person’s head, and asking directly shows you care.

Remember, there is hope! You are strong, you are unique, and you’ve got #sharehope.

When in doubt, choose empathy and kindness.

If you need to talk about your own feelings, reach out to someone
you trust or find another support program in your community.