Reporting a suicide threat on Facebook

I’ve just had to swing into action and find out what to do when someone posts on Facebook that they have overdosed and are dying. I had crept into bed, written in my journal, rescued Tonks from his own tiny cat collar when he managed to get his bottom jaw under it, had a mug of warm milk with cinnamon and honey, and was just closing down my light on my phone when it popped up in my feed. Now I’m out in the lounge on my computer, feet frozen, sticky with sweat in my dressing gown, exhausted beyond bearing, and too dazed to sleep.

I’m the sole admin for the DI open group on facebook, which currently has about 150 members… between that at my personal friends most of whom have mental health stuff and some of whom are going through seriously nasty crap, this was bound to happen sometime.

In case it does happen to you, here’s the link to report it urgently to facebook:

You can also call people, in Australia try

  • Lifeline 13 11 14 (free from landlines and mobiles)
  • ACIS 13 14 65 for mental health emergencies
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25)
  • Or 000 for an ambulance if you know the person is in life threatening danger and where they are

In America they have the suicide prevention lifeline on 1800 273 8255. If the person has posted stuff about suicide on a different type of website eg tumblr, here’s links to report to other emergency suicidal content people:

If you’re affected by suicide – either yourself or by someone else and need to talk, I’ve also found the suicide call-back service helpful – obviously these ones aren’t for immediate crisis stuff like this.

So, I’ve done what I can. It’s been a long day. I’m still very sick. Some of my friends are going through terrible things and my heart is broken for them. Other things are wonderful, like my dear sister returning from a long stay overseas, we were able to catch up a little tonight for dinner and I was so happy to see her. I haven’t slept much in days, my system has been a riot with so much going on, and the internal noise is almost unbearable as we all start to feel a little better and chatter away to each other… sleep is hard to come by.

I had hopes for tonight, until this.

It’s now 5.30am. I’ve just had a gentle conversation with a chap on lifeline… sometimes it’s just unbearable, I hear so many terrible stories of pain and suffering and because of confidentiality, they all stay with me, locked inside… sometimes it’s unbearable not having the power to make things right, to make doctors care for suicidal patients they are throwing out of hospital, to take away stigma and discrimination and violence and cruelty and poverty and loss… to be left simply with the role of being a witness, of standing vigil and saying – I see it, and it is not right, and I see that you suffer, and that is not right… to not turn aside or pretend or downplay or victim blame, but to bear to see and hear and know of these things and to stand with the people that endure them or are broken by them…

…It is wrong and I cannot make it right but I will bear witness and I will remember…

…and then to somehow let it all go, to let the pain flow through me and past me, to let go of the rage that makes me want to wake the world from their beds and scream at them – can’t you see what is happening here? How can you sleep when people are suffering like this? How can you be at peace when such injustice is being done? There’s a rage in me that wants to torch buildings and set trees burning as beacons in the night. My people are being destroyed, they are suffering, they are humiliated, abused, powerless, they are dying. We need to hear their stories. We need to know the results of our indifference, the ends of the systems and structures we create.

I feel sick.

I must stand strong, and I must let go.

There’s a sad, sad song in my soul tonight. For all the ones that life ran over, all their bright dreams turned to dust, their hopes ashes, bitterness and humiliation and grief in the night, the little people who did not have power to make it better or to have a voice or even to speak the things that went wrong for them, the way life became brutal, stuck in the throat, clawed their breath. For all the ones who find ourselves on the shores, watching other people’s ships sinking, we who love, and grieve, and despair, we who weep and watch, who mourn with them and feel their heartache in our hearts and carry their sorrows like black crows on our souls, we who remember their ancient joys and hopes with bitterness, long after they have passed. We who are witness, bound by love to not turn away. We who carry burdens of guilt and longing and regret, with tears that never entirely stop flowing, hands wrinkled and crusted with salt, gifts of love in our mouths like bright oranges, like birds that take flight over storms. We know that love is everything and that love is also not always enough.

There’s a sad song in my soul tonight for how hard life can be, how lonely and painful and desolate, and this is a truth that nothing else changes, all the joy and hope and brightness in the world does not alter even a little, a shadow that lays beneath all hope, a river that runs under rock. Life is beautiful and life is anguish. This is a truth in my left hand and a truth in my right.

There’s a sad song in me tonight, if I sing it, if I let myself cry, if I can but reach out and touch it, it may sing me to sleep, it may sweep me down that dark river to some kind of peace.

I appreciate hearing from you

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