What are the best practices for responding to anonymous (and possibly international) suicidal social media posts? Sunday, 10/5/14, 9pm CST our Suicide Prevention Social Media chat will be tackling this complex moral, ethical, and rather technical issue. Are there good international crisis resources? What are best practices? How can any “Good Samaritan” figure out how to do the right thing?
Earlier this summer, I (@DocForeman) received the following Facebook message from Patricia F. Anderson (@PFAnderson on Twitter), an experienced alum of the Health Care Social Media community:
“Yesterday I was checking out a new-ish anonymous social network service that my son had gotten into. Almost immediately after getting into it I saw a post “I want to die.” To make a long story short, it took 8 hours to get gender, approximate location, prior medical history & suicide attempts, and current medical history (ie. having not eaten in 5 days). We talk about #SPSM, but what on earth do you DO? …I ended up contacting a health care colleague in Scotland for whom I had an email address, who gave me the contact information for an Edinburgh hotline w/ email. This was after trying the National (USA) hotline, who directed me to 911, which took me to our small town police department who had absolutely NO clue and took 4 hours to respond to the call.
“I heard from the girl this AM. That would be afternoon her time. She did attempt suicide again, was caught, and is now in the hospital, planning to sign herself out and try again. I updated the officials in Edinburgh.
“Is there a list of suicide hotlines & email address around the world?”
Not really, @PFAnderson. And that’s not a great system for getting care. It’s like CPR. There should be something simple that ANYONE can do to get help for a suicidal person on social media. @PFAnderson will be this week’s guest expert to facilitate a discussion on this topic.
As Emerging Technologies Librarian for the Health Sciences, Patricia F. Anderson works with social, semantic and emerging technologies, identifying trends relevant to the educational, research, clinical and creative endeavors of the University of Michigan, primarily but not exclusively in the five schools associated with the health sciences (dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health). She provides resources, tips, training, workshops, consultations, and collaboration, as well as much more. She can be reached most easily on Twitter as @PFAnderson. She is a long-time community member of the #HCSM (Health Care Social Media) group in Twitter and has a one year appointment to the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. In her role as ETechLib, she is currently also the community manager for the University of Michigan presence in Second Life (a 3d online virtual world), Wolverine Island. You can keep up with her thoughts on emerging technologies and health sciences content on her blog.
The Tweets for this chat will be archived on Storify.