Suicide & Facebook
When someone dies by suicide their online Facebook profile will stay online and can be a good place for friends and family to remember and honour the deceased. It is also a place where suicidal ideation may be communicated, for that reason it is important to monitor these pages and be alert to those at risk of suicide.
What to do after a suicide;
- Identify the moderator of the person’s online accounts.
- Monitor the comments posted after the suicide watching for language indicating ideation ie: “I will join you soon”, “I can’t live without you” and be prepared to contact those users if necessary.
- Report suspected suicidal behavior to Facebook (see below for a link to instructions).
- Post the following message on the deceased’s profile:
“With help, this loss might have been avoided. The best way to honour (person’s name) is to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling. If you are feeling lost, desperate, or alone – please call (local crisis/distress line). The call is free and someone is available to assist you 24/7.”
Emergency Reporting of Suicidal Content on Facebook:
In December 2011, Facebook launched the capability to contact support—either through Facebook or another suicide prevention resource—to assist Facebook users who encounter suicidal content. Facebook also developed guidelines as part of its Help Center to assist persons who come in contact with someone who has indicated suicidal tendencies. In addition to providing direction to contact local law enforcement or a suicide hotline,
Facebook has created a Question and Answer page regarding suicide. To access the Q & A go to the Help Center and search the term “suicide”.
To learn how to report suicidal content on Facebook, please visit for step by step instructions:
Adapted from, “Coming Together to Care: A suicide prevention toolkit for Texas communities” July 2009. Updated 2012.