Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Post That Should Not Be Ignored

Facebook has been an interesting way for friends and I to keep in touch, those in and out of Second Life. And in some cases, a chance to stay in contact with friends taking a break from the Grid, though games and an occasional shared joke.

Because of it’s volume, we occasionally hear about Facebook posts in the news. A few weeks ago a student left a short suicide note as a post before jumping off a bridge. It was certainly strange. One seldom if ever believes any post that shows up on your page will be anything like that.

So imagine the surprise when I logged on, and find that one of my Facebook/Second Life friends posted, “Goodbye. Please forgive me, I love you all.”

The post was hours old. Fortunately, she had a number of friends, at least one whom she entrusted her address. It was this friend whom within minutes of the post dialed 911 and alerted her city’s emergency services. They found her, overdosed, but caught it in time, and rushed her to the hospital. She was safe.

This isn’t the first time someone I knew brought up suicide. Once in real life and once in Second Life, a friend talked about doing away with himself. People whom have often leave warning signs, such as this. And what one should do is take such talk seriously, talk to them, and get them to change their minds. For someone in Second Life, with whom contacting real life help might not be an option, one can get in contact with a therapist or a group therapy group. Even if the friend won’t see them, one can talk to the therapist for advice (Industria Dowler was the one I contacted for advice on my friend). It can take a while to get a depressed friend to turn around, but it can be done.

For now, I can be thankful my friend was found in time, and is now in safe hands.

Bixyl Shuftan

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