A recent video originating on Facebook Live depicting a man dying by suicide has made its way across popular social media platforms. We’re bringing you key facts and advice on how you can respond.
When viral events happen information can travel quickly, often before full details have emerged. You should note that details, videos and images are still being shared online, which can be distressing for many young people and others.
The video was originally broadcast last weekon Facebook and shows a man ending his life
The video shows the graphic depiction of his death and the emergency services responding. It will likely distress anyone who watches it, particularly children and young people
Our team have reviewed a number of viral TikTok videos discussing the man’s death, using pictures from the original video – there appears to be a number of accounts asking where they can find the video
We have concerns that some TikTok users are discussing how they ‘felt nothing’ after seeing the video, which may push users toward the video to compare how they felt
Links to the full video are being circulated via TikTok and Instagram
What you can do
It’s almost impossible to shield older children from news about traumatic events online, but you can show them the control they have in managing what they see and how they react
Older children may be particularly skilled in finding information quickly, talking to them about how graphic content can spread quickly will help them understand how viral content works
You should discuss‘any stories’ a young person may have seen today – without directly naming the viral video
You should also talk about the importance of being sensitive online, and not sharing any graphic or distressing content for others to see
If a young person is aware of the video, you should explain the benefit ofstaying offline for a few hours until the event passes
Talk about what a young person would do if they needed support for their mental health
If a young person in your care has seen the video:
If a young person is accessing disturbing material you should tell them to stop what they’re doing and turn off their screen or shut down their device
They should try not to think about what they saw in great detail, and remind themselves that there is no immediate danger and they are safe
Encourage the young person to talk about what they saw with a trusted adult rather than other young people
We understand that the video may be particularly harmful to young people with existing mental health difficulties. If you are concerned that any child or young person you know may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, check out our recent blog here where we explore ways to help them.