Posted by: John | December 15, 2009

Social networking can save lives!

Many are blase about social networking yet with any potential downsides (too shallow, too immediate) sometimes it comes up trumps.

On OUTeverywhere last night (as I was listening to Manu Chao and chatting to a good buddy on MSN) I noticed an anonymous support thread under the subject support:depression the title of it being `The End`.

In it this man detailed a few of the issues of his life (particularly his mother’s dementia) and stated how he wanted to end it all. One can be cynical as we don’t know what was really happening on the other end though there were definite signs that the situation was genuine enough to warrant sincere responses. (number of pills, types of pills, the fact he couldn’t face calling the Samaritans again just put the phone down each time).

Soon in a very practical and non-patronising way other OUTers (there were a cluster of about four one of whom who had had a partner take his own life and another who had tried to do this many years before) were asking him questions and coaxing him to call the Samaritans.

Then he said he had taken the pills and these guys coaxed him to call the ambulance. Watching this in real time I had my heart in my mouth knowing that if someone wants to take their own life there’s nowt anyone can do to stop them.

In the end he called NHS Direct (I don’t know why) and the last we heard was him saying `the ambulance is on its way x`.

Perhaps he was right at the edge and just wanted to know someone anyone cared enough – we may never know.

What I DO know is that whatever the rare bitching that goes on on that site (as it can do on any site) was more than matched with the excellent advice and support (call it `first aid`?) that was given last night.

OUTeverywhere – may you go from strength to strength.



  1. […] I see great upsides to it all not least in my earlier post of people trying to save someones life – although that is an extreme case. […]

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