World Suicide Prevention Day: Twitter Announces several Initiatives
On the World Suicide Prevention Day( September 10), Twitter has announced several initiative to prevent suicide and extend support to all stakeholders through its strong communication medium. It would make efforts to ensure that people have a free and safe space to talk openly about their individual mental health concerns.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Twitter has played a critical role in keeping people connected, and amplifying authoritative information from credible sources, Twitter said in a press release issued today.
Between April 01 - May 31, 2021, mental well-being was top of mind for people. The service saw a 153% (2.5x) increase in conversations about mental well-being during the second wave of Covid-19, it said.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 7,00,000 people die due to suicide every year, making suicide the fourth leading cause of death among 15-19 year olds globally. For every individual suicide there are many more people who attempt to take their own life.
Preventing suicide and addressing mental health isssues requires collaboration across all of society. Twitter said that it works closely with civil society partners and governments around the world to provide resources and support to those in need and raise awareness about these important issues. To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Twitter has developed a special emoji in the shape of an orange ribbon - the international symbol for day. It appears when people Tweet with the hashtags #WorldSuicidePreventionDay or #WSPD
● Who: ShrutiHaasan - Actor (@shrutihaasan), ChaitiNarula - Senior journalist (@Chaiti), TehseenPoonawala - Entrepreneur & Political Analyst (@tehseenp), and Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (@KSCFIndia)
● When: 5pm IST on Friday, 10th September
● How to join:https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1kvJpoyEyWXGE
Re:Set (@ReSet_Everyday) will attempt to create awareness around suicide prevention by dispelling myths and sharing facts about suicides. Watch out for their Tweet thread to keep yourself well informed.
Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, ILS, Pune (@CMHLPIndia) is hosting a free onlinecourse for all media professionals, including journalists & journalism students on 'Reporting Suicides Responsibly: Implementing Evidence-based Guidelines for the Media'.Use this Twitter link to sign up for the self-paced course that open to all, developed as a part of 'SPIRIT' - Suicide Prevention & Implementation Research Initiative.
The Live Love Laugh Foundation (@TLLLFoundation) will be releasing a video on Twitter today. Themed around creating hope through actions, the video would depict how taking the time to reach out to someone in your circle could change the course of their life.
MPower Minds (@mpowerminds) is launching an awareness campaign called #ZindagiKoHi5, wherein they will be hosting a Spaces interaction today to discuss issues surrounding accessibility to quality mental healthcare. They will also be unveiling a video campaign to talk about the importance of people sharing hope and finding joys in the small things in life.
Here are some ways Twitter can be used to seek or offer help:
● Seeking or offering help through conversations on Twitter: It's important that people who are struggling are seen and heard so that they can get the help they need. Twitter can be a valuable resource to serve this purpose. Many people use Twitter to express unique points of view and talk openly about concerns. Communities on Twitter too are a source of positive support. NGOs often use Twitter as a channel to identify and reach out to vulnerable people who they may otherwise not have contact with, and to raise awareness of important services. Mental health service providers globally are increasingly providing critical services via digital and social channels in order to meet the changing needs of society, and reach a younger audience.
● #IndiaSuicidePrevention List: Twitter has an evolving list of suicide prevention helplines in different locations and working hours in India. Anyone can find this List by typing and entering suicide-related English and Hindi language keywords or queries into the Search option for example, #CommitSuicide, #EndLife, #HowToHangMyself, #PainlessDeath, #SuicideAttempt,
● #ThereIsHelp - a notification service: Twitter works with with local mental health authorities and nonprofits across the globe to offer #ThereIsHelp, a notification service on Twitter which provides valuable mental health resources to vulnerable people and encourages them to reach out and get help from relevant local support services when they need it. In India, the service is offered in partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (@mheduNIMHANS).