‘You think you want to die, but in reality you just want to be saved.’

Twitter and Ask.fm have hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, amongst a number of stories around the increasing prominence of ‘internet trolls’: bullies who use social media and the web to target their victims, leaving them with no place to hide and no respite from torment and abuse.

 

The sad death of 14 year-old Hannah Smith, who hanged herself after being the victim of online bullying, has followed hot on the heels of campaigns of abuse on Twitter targeting MP Stella Creasy and Historian Mary Beard, threatening rape, violence and death. Although cyber-bullying has often been thought of as something solely affecting children and teenagers recent events prove that, like off-line bullying, age is no barrier to being targeted. But if something good can come out of these recent incidents, hopefully we will finally begin to take virtual and cyber-bullying – across the life-span – as seriously as we do bullying in schools, homes, the workplace or any other setting.

 

If you are being targeted by internet trolls, it can be hard to know where to go for help. Cyber-bullying can infiltrate into your home life, your working life, your holiday and even time on public transport through mobiles communications and internet. You may feel trapped or like there is no way out, and you might have no-one to talk to. Like Hannah Smith you may be considering suicide as the only way to escape, but her poignant note published as her last post on Ask.fm speaks volumes about the Hannah’s true feelings before she committed suicide: ‘You think you want to die, but in reality you just want to be saved.’

 

At The Grove we understand how suicide can seem like the only option. Our counsellors and therapists are experienced in working with people who are considering suicide, and are ready to listen to you. So let’s talk first, before you act, and work together to find another solution.