Offering just a phone service to talk through feelings of suicide doesn’t always work so well these days for a generation more inclined to type and click, but reaching out to young people online where they’re most visible is right on target.
The Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service of Ithaca offers an online chat for those seeking help, which is a smart idea because youth in particular are often more comfortable speaking electronically than over the phone. The center is also smart for using students to understand how young people think in order to effectively relate to them.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline should also be commended for teaming up with social media websites like Facebook to offer more outlets for people to express emotions and get help. As more young people favor online exchanges to phone calls, other advocacy organizations should follow suit and think about how social media can go beyond simply spreading information — it could save a life.