Late one night a week or so ago I was browsing around sites I follow in the blogosphere when I landed on a post titled Goodbye. The writer is articulate and wry, but sometimes confronting. I knew they had a tough time of it. I thought perhaps they’d decided to quit blogging. I was curious – I wondered what they might be moving on to, how they were doing.
Maybe things were coming right, I thought. Yep, hope as they say, springs eternal.
You’ve probably gotten there faster than I did. I had to read the post twice before I could accept what had been said. The post had already been up six days. Realising that was not a good moment.
I felt like I’d been slapped awake. I was shocked. And I felt helpless. I thought I was too late on the scene to be of much use. I wasn’t entirely sure of the writer’s nationality. Their blogging name probably wasn’t their real name. This is the blogosphere – writers have complete control (almost) over what they reveal – which made the post all the more worrying. I couldn’t just move on to the next blog site, the next witty or entertaining read. I had to do something.
So I asked Google and Google sent me to the Little Blog of Letting Go and to The National Suicide Prevention website. Check them out. They have a lot of useful information and links. (See below for New Zealand specific information.)
This is a summary:
- Put up a comment, telling the blogger you are worried about their post, remind them there are people who care and urge them to contact their doctor or their therapist. You can also give them the phone number of a help line. In New Zealand Lifeline is a good place to start: their number is 0800 543 354. (There’s a list of personal help services at the front of the phone book)
- If the blog is hosted by WordPress hover your mouse over the globe icon in the top left-hand corner, click on the report content link that appears in the drop down menu.
- On self-hosted sites there is no icon. I contacted WordPress Support anyway. They treated my concerns seriously and with respect.
- YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, all have systems in place for reporting content.
If you are worried, act. Remind the person to talk to someone, give them suggestions. Even though you might find the post several days after it went up, like I did, you won’t know for sure what’s happened. Try – your actions could help.
If you are feeling low or desperate, or know someone who is, here are a couple of useful links:
http://thelowdown.co.nz/#/home/ This site is aimed at young people.
http://depression.org.nz/home This site features the All Black great John Kirwan and has a lot of useful information.
Categories: On Life