Dear Auntie, I see posts on social media that sometimes worry me, but I’m not sure what to do so I usually do nothing. Any tips?
Well, you are definitely not alone. Over 80% of people on SM see posts that are related to violence, depression, suicide, and self-harm. So what do you do when you see them?
Don’t ignore it!
When you read posts online that worry you, you might get a feeling in your gut that’s trying to tell you something. Listen to it. Some comments may seem subtle while others stand out, but these kinds of warning signs should always be taken seriously. Private message them, call them, or text them. Try saying things like:
- I’m worried about you, I don’t like seeing you upset.
- You ok? If you need someone to talk to, I’m here.
- Hey, I care about you, what’s going on? I want to help you
- How are you doing? If anything is wrong, I got you. Talk to me. I’m here to support you
It can seem overwhelming when you read posts that tell you someone needs more serious help, especially when it involved violence, depression, suicide, and self-harm. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone! If you do happen to come across someone reaching out for help, here are some resources you can pm them with:
- Share your concerns about your friend with a trusted adult or health professional. Visit your tribal clinic or contact a trained helper with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741741 to start a conversation.
- If your friend posts something that makes you think that he or she is not safe, it’s important to take action and not keep it a secret. Talk to someone who can help your friend like a counselor, family member, auntie, uncle, friend, teacher, or another trusted adult.
- Reachout.com has a hotline 1-800-448-3000 youth can call if they are going through a tough time to help provide you with support, and hook you up with local services.
- Mental Health America has a zip code locator to help you find clinics near you with low-cost or sliding scale services. They also have a Crisis hotline you can call: 1-800-273-TALK.
- We R Native has a ton of resources you can use for both your friend and yourself ranging from My Culture, My Life, My Relationship, and My Impact. They also have a list of resources you can use, in case the ones I’ve given aren’t what you’re looking for.
Thank you for writing in, as there are a lot of other people out there with the same question as you.