The public should pay more attention to online suicide notes to prevent tragedies from happening, a local group said after reports emerged of several people posting messages or updating their Facebook status before committing suicide.
With the rising popularity of social networking Web sites, more people might use them to reveal plans to commit suicide, said Lee Ming-been (李明濱), director--general of the Taipei-based Taiwanese Society of Suicidology.
He urged netizens to be more alert to help prevent suicides.
Some recent suicide cases were not taken seriously by other users of social networking sites and ended tragically.
“We need to take such -messages seriously, show our concern and try to listen and give support,” Lee said.
He also said it was important to help those who post suicidal thoughts get professional counseling. If a suspicious message or update is seen on Facebook, one should either call the police immediately or use one of the Web site’s tools to report what was seen, Lee said. Reporting suicidal posts can be done on Facebook by going to the drop-down list on the upper right corner of the post and choosing “Report story or spam.”
Then, click “file a report,” before ticking the “violence or harmful behavior” item and choosing “suicidal content” on another drop-down list.
“Such easy steps can sometimes save a life,” Lee said.