Responding to suicidal content online

The NSPA has developed a free public-facing online tool to support online communities to respond to suicidal content. This will ensure that more people experiencing suicidal feelings online get the safe and supportive response they need.

NSPA Guidelines Responding to Suicidal Content Online 2016

Project summary:
The tool, produced by the mental health charity Mind, sets out an entry-level, step-by-step, practical approach for managers, moderators and individuals running an online community. It was developed in consultation with 28 organisations and individuals across the public, private and charity sector.

We carried out interviews, focus groups and online questionnaires, it was reviewed at every stage by a panel of experts and people with lived experience, and was user-tested by community moderators and managers. As a result, it is a robust, useful and practical tool that will empower anyone to respond to suicidal content online in a safe and supportive way.
Key points:
• Online communities can be a powerful tool in helping people express their feelings, feel understood and take a step towards getting help. By empowering communities to provide the right support, at the right time, we can save lives.
• This is the first resource of its kind, and the only free, UK-based, public-facing information about how to respond to suicidal content online.
• Developed in consultation with a wide range of communities and experts, the tool empowers everyone to provide a safe and supportive response to suicidal content online, regardless of experience, sector or type of community.
• The tool puts the needs of people seeking help at the heart of the resource, and emphasises the importance of empathy, compassion and respect.
• With the reach of our stakeholders, we have the potential to reach several million people online and make sure they get the support they need. (The online communities we worked with in the charity sector have over 225,000 users. Mumsnet alone has 7-8 million unique users a month.)

How can I use it?
• In your own work – if you have an online community, whether it’s a Facebook page, Twitter account, forum or a more formal online community, you can use the resource to help you provide a safe and supportive response.
• Encouraging others to use it – by helping us to publicise the resource, sharing it with your networks and encouraging people to adopt it into their work, you can help us make sure more people get the support they need online.
• An example of good practice – if people ask you about suicidal content online, you can point them to the resource as a practical tool to use, as well as an example of work and good practice from the sector.

Testimonials ‘This has already been useful for our organisation in redeveloping our policy. Great to have a go-to document written by sector leaders in mental health provision to provide an authoritative voice. Really valuable information which has come at exactly the right time as we develop our community.’

Mumsnet: ‘I think it’s excellent, very comprehensive and reassuring too. Many thanks and congratulations.’

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