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Troubled by a Friend’s Post on Social Media? Here’s How to Help

Woman looks at smartphone with concern

In this Article:

  • If your friend expresses thoughts of suicide on social media, don’t ignore them.
  • Get help by connecting him or her to free and confidential Guard resources.
  • You can also reach out to safety teams on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to get your friend the support they need.

If a drill buddy or friend is posting thoughts of suicide on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, it’s very important that you take those posts seriously.

Is Your Friend Showing Any Of These Potential Warning Signs?

If you answer yes to any of these, get your friend help immediately.

  • Posting about wanting to die or to kill oneself?
  • Posting about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live?
  • Posting about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain?
  • Posting about being a burden to others?
  • Posting about seeking revenge?

Connect Your Friend to Confidential Guard Resources

The first thing you’ll want to do is reach out to your friend and ask them if they’re okay. Often people in crisis need someone to talk to. Remember to listen and be supportive.

Not sure what to say? Try reading Buddy Check for tips to talk about suicide with your friend.

The next thing is to let your friend know that there are confidential Guard resources available to help. You can either call one of these resources on your friend’s behalf or send your friend the contact information below.

  • Psychological Health Coordinator (PHC). A Psychological Health Coordinator is someone you can talk to confidentially about your problems—big or small. To find a Psychological Health Coordinator (PHC) in your state or territory, search the dropdown list by state.
  • Chaplain. Another option is to talk with a chaplain. They’re not in your chain of command, so you’ll find a safe, neutral space to figure things out. Most chaplains have training in counseling and they have a good sense of the stresses and strains of Guard life. Contact a chaplain in your state.
  • Military Crisis Line. Consider contacting the Military Crisis Line (800-273-8255 and press 1) if you’re concerned about a friend. You can call 24/7 to get free, confidential support to help connect your friend with the care they need.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline . This call center (800-273-8255) is dedicated to helping individuals who think or talk about suicide. You can call 24/7 to get free, confidential support and resources to help you and your friend.
  • CO. Another option is to talk to your CO.

Contact the Safety Teams on Social Media Sites

If your friend continues to post alarming messages or you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to them directly, you can contact the following social media safety teams for help.

Once you contact the site (see below), a safety team member will contact your friend and connect him or her to suicide prevention resources.

Facebook

  • Fill out the form to send an e-mail to Facebook to report someone who is showing warning signs. A member of Facebook’s Safety Team will contact the user with a popup message and offer options to get help.
  • Click on the little arrow at the top right of the post and “report post”. Tap on “I think it shouldn’t be on Facebook” and then tap on “It’s threatening, violent or suicidal”. Finally, tap on “self-injury or suicide” and choose one of five options on what you can do to help.

Twitter

Instagram

  • Click on the three dots at the top right of the post and “report”. Click on “It’s Inappropriate”, then tap on “self-injury”, and click on the red “Report” button. Instagram will remove the post and reach out to the user with information to help them.

YouTube

  • To report suicidal content, click on the “Report” flag icon and select “Harmful or dangerous acts” and then “Report as inappropriate”. YouTube will then review the video and reach out to the user with suicide prevention resources.

 

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