11 Comments to
Twitter Saves a Life, But Suicide Remains Serious Online Problem

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  1. “How many lives has this organization alone saved? I’d hazard to guess thousands, easily. Maybe even tens of thousands in that time.”

    Prevented, or postponed?

  2. I’ll second that.

    Regardless of whether we receive media attention and recognition, this site and others dedicated to helping people in need are something of which we can be rightly proud.

  3. Does this mean the only way we can get attention/help for mental health issues in the U.S. is by tweeting a celebrity?

    No, no it doesn’t.

  4. Research shows these organizations and things like suicide bridges prevent suicide, not postpone it, in the vast majority of cases.

    Suicidal acts are most often done as rash acts; anything that can put a pause on such rashness brings the boil down. For most, it usually doesn’t come back.

  5. John, I think you’re viewing this all wrong. Maybe it’s because I’m Gen-Y or something but I think it’s great that people are paying attention and were concerned enough to alert the police. Like it or not, Twitter (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) is now part of a growing electronic communication. This person probably Twittered at Ms. Moore (aka Mrs. Kutcher) not expecting her to even notice or care.

    I do agree, however, that many trained workers and volunteers help save the lives of people every day and it goes unnoticed, but the reason this made “news” is because it was rare and out of the ordinary. It’s not every day that a celebrity saves a “normal” person’s life.

    Besides, celebrities have the power to highlight serious issues such as this — more so than you or me. I’m glad this person is getting help and hopefully celebrities can use their influence bring more attention to mental health issues. Whatever works.

  6. @Marissa… Indeed, I may very well be viewing this all wrong. I hope this was not a single instance of a celebrity “doing the right thing.” In fact, I hope that anyone who is suicidal can now feel safe in turning to a celebrity twitter to connect with someone.

    But if celebrity twittering is what it takes to get attention and help for one’s suicidal behaviors or thoughts, I can’t help but fear for our society.

  7. Any attention to this all too important issue is good, although I see your point, I feel that the issue is so often so taboo that it is good it is being discussed, even if it happens to be in the Entertainment section of a magazine or newspaper. I do personally fear that people will twitter suicidal thoughts and attempts at random. As a person who believes all threats should be taken seriously this could become a serious issue of its own. No matter what, we must remain focused on the value of life and what is at the root of the problem, a person feeling as if life is no longer worth living. Keep working hard and talking about suicide and suicide prevention!

  8. Suicides can be grouped into two classifications: those that are impulsive and those that are not impulsive The majority are impulsive and are stopped by things like suicide barriers (where they are present). But is that group, who have a brief impulse to kill themselves, the group that is searching the net before acting? I’m doubtful of that. I also suspect that the non-impulsive group is more likely to have reoccurring suicidal thought, thus postponing the event.

  9. I think there are a lot of the impulsive group turning to the internet first – particularly among youth. The internet is a huge part of our lives – even more so for teenagers – and going online in those painful moments before action is a pretty natural move now. As for postponing the inevitable in non-impulsive people, well, who knows? People come out of it. I’ve been postponing suicide for about 10 years from helpful people/places online, a lot of that on this site. I don’t know whether I’ll eventually complete, but… maybe that 10 years is worth something. I know at least some of it has been, because I’ve been able to do some really good things during some of those years.


  11. I find it disturbing that no one bothers to question the article’s assumption that a woman’s life was actually saved just because she was forced into the mental health system. “In approximately 75% of completed suicides the individuals had seen a physician within the prior year before their death, 45%-66% within the prior month. Approximately 33% – 41% of those who completed suicide had contact with mental health services in the prior year, 20% within the prior month.” (wikipedia)



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