We want to make sure that you are equipped with the knowledge to make sure that both you and your audience are protected while live streaming.
For those of you new to livestreaming, this involves broadcasting to an audience in real-time and is a great way of involving other people in your fundraising activities. Livestreaming can happen in lots of different parts of the internet, from Facebook and Instagram Live to more specialist sites like Twitch and YouTube.
As you will be broadcasting live, things will happen in real-time so it’s good to prepare beforehand.
Before you start, we recommend reading our top tips below to allow a great experience for both yourself and your audience:
Things to consider before going live
- Consider how much you want to share – if you’re sharing your personal experiences of suicide or emotional wellbeing think about how it might make you feel and whether you feel ready to tell your story.
- People may get in touch to share their experiences – when fundraising for Samaritans, people may open up to you about their own personal experiences. This can be a really positive thing but it can also feel overwhelming.
- Comment moderation - if you don’t already have regular moderators it’s worth asking a friend to watch the comments on the livestream and moderate for you, so that you can focus on your fundraising activity. They could do this remotely or be with you in-person so that you can debrief or celebrate together after your event.
Talking about suicide safely online
The way we talk about suicide online is important. Making sure you post safely and responsibly can reduce the risk of suicidal feelings and behaviours in others and encourage people to seek help.
- Think about your audience - are there likely to be people who have personal experience of suicide? What impact will your story have on them? Will it be upsetting or harmful for them?
- Use sensitive language - try to use phrases like ‘died by suicide’ or ‘took their own life’, rather than ‘committed suicide’ which can make it sound like a crime. Avoid language that suggests suicide is quick, painless, or a solution to a problem.
- Use a trigger warning - if you’re sharing personal experiences of suicide, consider putting a note at the beginning of your post explaining that it relates to suicide to let others decide whether they feel resilient enough to look at it. For example, you could write “Trigger warning – this post discusses suicidal feelings and recovery”.
- Share messages of hope and recovery - research has shown that positive stories about people overcoming a crisis and how they have recovered from this can encourage vulnerable people to seek help and is associated with fewer suicides.
For more tips, see our guide on talking about suicide online safely.
Talking about the death of a loved one
- Ask for consent – if you’re talking about a friend or family member who has died by suicide, it’s important to let their close family know you plan to do this and ask if they feel comfortable and how much information you can share.
- Emphasise that suicide is preventable – try to emphasize that their death was preventable rather than suggesting that the person may have achieved something through suicide, for example they are ‘in a better place’.
- Never mention methods of suicide - posting detail about methods of suicide can encourage vulnerable users to consider or try it themselves, and it has been linked to increased rates of suicide.
- Don’t speculate about suicide - try not to speculate about the details around someone’s suicide or the reasons why they took their life. Remember suicide is complex and cause by lots of different factors so avoid attributing it to a single cause, such as social media or bullying, which could increase the suicide risk of someone experiencing similar issues.
Suicide is a difficult topic and sometimes talking about it online can be upsetting, either for you or the people watching. This section covers how to respond if you are contacted by someone in distress, and where you can find support for yourself.
- Getting support for yourself: if you need to talk to someone after your livestream you can always call Samaritans or speak to the people around you. Samaritans are here to listen - day or night 365 days a year in the UK and ROI. You can call us free on 116 123, email [email protected].
- How to respond to someone in distress: users who watch your live stream might also post a comment or get in touch to share their personal experience. If this happens, try to include a link to available support, such as Samaritans, and encourage people to reach out for help. Be clear that suicide is preventable, and that support is available.
You could say something like: "Hi XXX, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that things have been so difficult. If you ever need to talk, you can call the Samaritans free, day or night on 116 123, or email [email protected]."
Ready to get streaming for Samaritans?
If you’ve got any questions or want to chat more, let our team know via [email protected].
Please note that we are not affiliated with, nor do we endorse our live streamers.