Ali's Adventures

November 23, 2011

Deciding to do something

Filed under: Social Media — by Alison @ 11:16 pm

Yesterday something very upsetting happened on Twitter. Thankfully, it ended happily.

A gentleman I do not know was seriously contemplating suicide and posted a goodbye letter to his family and friends. People were retweeting his message and trying to find him. These tweets left me with a nervous knot in my stomach. The one that comes from the anxiety of not being able to do anything. I watched the twitter stream for a few minutes, feeling more and more anxious. And then I realized there was something I could do.

I called the police. Not 911, because this person was not in my city, but the general police line. I explained that someone I do not know posted a suicide threat on Twitter. The officer I spoke with took it seriously, and found me the number of the correct police department. I called that police department, explained myself again and again was taken seriously and listened to. The officer told me that they had already received a call and were actively pursuing it.

The gentleman was found and is now hopefully receiving the help he so desperately needs.

I might not have actually done anything, but it did help dissolve my knot of anxiety. So here’s my little PSA, suicide threats are taken seriously by the police. Even if you don’t have a lot of information, the police know what to do. If you are in the same city, call 911 – it is a life threatening emergency. It’s better to over react to these things than to assume that someone else will deal with it.



  1. Ali, that’s good news that people took it seriously. After the news of a teenager’s suicide after tweeting for hours about years of abuse and no one believing her allegations and not one of her 500 followers seeing or taking her suicidal thoughts seriously, it’s more important than ever to be proactive when we do see these things. I posted this to twitter a couple days ago and I firmly believe that we all need to know this information and be ready to help should someone need it. We can make a difference, even if we’re nowhere near the person.

    Comment by Karen — November 24, 2011 @ 8:50 am |Reply

  2. I think by nature in a situation where lots of people know something bad is happening we believe someone else will take care of the situation and fear being thought stupid or doing something tons of people have already done. I know I fall prey to that attitude sometimes and it’s so important that we learn that not only should we say something it will make us feel better and nobody will say “geez! We already knew that!!” they will be glad lots of people are helping.

    Comment by Lara — November 24, 2011 @ 8:55 am |Reply

  3. this is really good to know – thanks!

    Comment by Urban Girl — December 11, 2011 @ 9:27 am |Reply

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