HSAB has been made aware of an online ‘game’ which encourages young people to self harm for 50 days and then take their life by suicide on the last day. It is believed that the game originated in Russia and there have been reports of its use in other areas of Europe. We have been asked not to circulate the name of the ‘game’.
Public Health England advice is to treat this information and the sharing of the information with extreme caution and ensure sensitive communication. Emails and communications can promote the issue and cause harm through undue concern and inadvertently encouraging risky behaviour. Specifically they are recommending the name and descriptions of the alleged-game is not shared . PHE recommends that concerned parties should relay generic advice. The following pointers should be helpful:
- We encourage extreme caution on sharing online content to young people that may be distressing or upsetting. If young people express any concern or worries over material they have seen online, or posts or comments that friends or other people have made, it is important to listen to them and offer support. Remember that harmful and distressing materials can be reported through social media channels.
- Providing information and signposting to support for all young people is important at all times. It may also be useful to provide advice on how young people can support themselves and their friends.
- Increasingly people use the internet to express themselves and share their thoughts and feelings, or to participate in online activities. Sometimes we may see things, read things or participate in things that we find upsetting and it’s important to know what to do if this happens to look after ourselves and support each other.
- Samaritans, in partnership with Facebook has produced a guide on what to do if you are concerned about a friend. This information also applies to how to help colleagues or students.
- If you have concerns that someone is suicidal, useful information can be found here:http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/what-speak-us-about/if-you%E2%80%99re-worried-about-someone-else