Franklin James Cook

Teen Launches Anti-Suicide Group on Facebook

In Media, Prevention on November 21, 2008 at 10:23 pm

ORIGINAL STORY — The Canadian Broadcasting Centre tells the story of the 15-year-old from near Calgary who created the Facebook group Teens against Suicide after his recovery from a severe bout of depression.

In the past eight months, more than 2,200 people have joined, and hundreds of messages have been posted. [The teen] says he started the site from “one of those urges to say ‘look what I went through,’ ” and to tell others they’re not alone. Technology is second nature to most teens. It’s the way that they communicate with each other and how they seek out information.

The CBC story continues with comments about a needs assessment among 17- to 24-year-olds recently completed by a grief counselor with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“They are very unique in their grief needs,” [the counselor] said, adding teens seem to want a mix of face-to-face counselling, peer support, and books. Some also need a sense of anonymity that comes with being online.

She says [the Canadian Mental Health Association is] currently trying to figure out how to incorporate new media into ways teens can get professional support, as well as get across the message that grief counselling can look like whatever a teen needs.

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