How to support someone you're worried about

If you think someone is in immediate danger, the quickest way to get help is to call an ambulance on 999.
What to do if someone is in immediate danger or experiencing a mental health crisis.

3. Supporting someone online

If you’re worried about someone online because of the way they’re acting or the things that they’re posting, you can:

  • offer them support if you feel comfortable
  • tell someone you trust
  • report it on the platform they’re using so they can provide support.

We all experience not being okay different, but some signs to look out for are:

  • posting messages that worry you
  • posting detailed or graphic messages about self-harm or suicide
  • posting graphic pictures or videos about self-harm or suicide

Some phrases or themes to watch out for in online messages are things like:

  • I want to give up
  • No-one would notice if I wasn’t here
  • I hate myself

Not everyone who is struggling to cope will use these phrases, and some people might not be posting or messaging at all.

Reporting content and getting support for users

If you think a user is struggling or is posting messages about self-harm and suicide, it’s always helpful to flag it with the platform so that they can get in touch with them to provide support.

What content should be reported:

  • Posts or comments that describe a method of self-harm or suicide
  • Graphic images or videos that show wounds or methods of hurting yourself
  • Posts or comments encouraging self-harm or suicide

Reporting content is really important to help the user get support and to keep other users safe online. Most platforms have a function where you can report content. If you’re unsure or have questions about how to report content, visit Report Harmful Content.

What if they won’t accept my help?

If someone won't accept your help, you can:

  • Say where they can find help if they change their mind
  • Report the post to the platform
  • Encourage them to talk to someone
  • Encourage them to reach out if they change their mind
  • Check in on them later if you feel able to
  • Remind them that things can change

If there's someone you're worried about and they're self-isolating, or their support network is self-isolating, it is important to try to check in through the channel you normally use to chat to them to make sure they're okay.

We also have guidance on talking about suicide online