Social media playing a role in suicides

Social media playing a role in suicides

We are following up on the Macon teen who attempted suicide on Facebook Live.

With it happening on such a public platform, Nicole Butler reached out to students at Mercer University to see how social media and other sources like the new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, might have played a role. 

Looking on social media, you are bound to find something that catches your eye, never thinking you might see someone trying to commit suicide.

Using Facebook Live as a platform, a Macon teen consumed pills and placed a plastic bag over her head, but deputies arrived in time to take her to Navicent Health for treatment.

With more and more people using Facebook Live, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, says they will add 3,000 people to help police content on their site.

There's also a new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, that has become very popular. The show is about a young girl's suicide and follows along as she reveals to others why she blames people for her death.

Elijah Hawkins says he's a big fan of 13 Reasons Why, saying he's glad that the show talks about such a taboo subject.

"Because no one really talks about it, so it's in everyone's mind. What do they go through? What do the people with suicidal thoughts go through? Would they really do it?" Hawkins says.

Hawkins says without the show, he wouldn't have taken his friend seriously when he reached out to Hawkins on Snapchat about taking his own life.

"I felt like that was his cry for help, so I encouraged him to go get help," he says.

Jessica Hatcher is the assistant vice president at the Coliseum's Center for Behavioral Health, and says Hawkins handled the situation perfectly. 

She says it's important to take these cries seriously and have an open dialog with friends and family to let them know.

"There are going to be times when you are going to be sad. There are going to be things that happen in your life that will be disappointing. It might be hard right now, but right now isn't forever," Hatcher says.

Hatcher encourages anyone who may need help to call the Coliseum's 24/7 crisis number that is 478-741-1355.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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