#chatsafe A young person’s guide for communicating safely online about suicide

By Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health         [Download Resource]


‘Many countries, including Australia, have developed media guidelines for safe reporting of suicide. These guidelines target media professionals and have been largely focused on traditional forms of news and print media, rather than the internet and social media. However, young people increasingly use social media platforms to discuss suicide in a number of ways. Strategies focused on involvement of professionals and on traditional forms of media are therefore less likely to be helpful for young people.

To date, there is a lack of evidence about safe and helpful online peer-to-peer communication about suicide, and there is little guidance available to help young people safely discuss suicide online. The aim of this project was to develop a set of evidence-informed guidelines that could help young people to communicate safely online about suicide’


Key Content Areas:

  • Before you post anything online about suicide
  • Sharing your own thoughts, feelings or experience with suicidal behaviour online
  • Communicating about someone you know who is affected by suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviours
  • Responding to someone who may be suicidal
  • Memorial websites, pages and closed groups to honour the deceased.


Research has shown that there is no evidence that asking about suicide increases the likelihood of a person engaging in suicidal behaviour. If you are worried or concerned that someone might be experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviour, here are some questions that you could ask:

• “Are you thinking of suicide?”
• “Do you feel suicidal?”
• “Are you thinking of ending your life?”.
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