Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Our Young People Have to Be Trained - Helping Others in Distress and Knowing What to Do

One of our youth volunteers last night received an email from someone they knew casually. That email conveyed pain in a breakup and the intent to hurt themselves. Luckily, this young volunteer reached out to some of my managers and was able, with their help, to get help for the other student. Relieved, our volunteer was also traumatized. While my young volunteers have a unique role in helping others, this particular young volunteer had not yet been trained in providing support.

Young people are seeing more and more of their peers reaching out for help online. Sometimes they may imply that they are thinking about suicide or other forms of self-harm. Sometimes they imply that they may be planning on hurting others (such as Columbine) and sometimes they just talk about being lost and lone with no where to turn. We have to teach them what to do, where to go for help and how to report these instances when they find them.

Like performing CPR or first aid, all young people (and adults) must know what they have to do to help others and address emergencies online.

The industry leaders and forward thinkers have created extensive report abuse and help resources. Many have specially trained teams of support for users, police and schools. Yet, few young people (or adults) know what to report, where to report it or what to expect when they do.

This year WiredSafety.org is devoting to helping increase abuse reporting awareness and literacy. We will be partnering with other leading help groups to create a "no wrong door" policy, where all of us lead to help.

Want to join us? Have some ideas? Want to help? The kids need us and each other.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Parry Aftab is interested in hearing ideas and questions about digital safety, privacy and cybersense. Please do not advertise or promote services or products or include a link, video or image in your comment.

Now for the boring legal stuff:
We reserve the right to delete and/or moderate any comments at any time.
Note that Parry Aftab does not respond to legal questions and cannot address specific issues about reported abuse.She cannot be retained as legal counsel online, and any prospective client must sign a retainer agreement before becoming a legal client of Ms. Aftab. Any legal discussions are educational and informational only and anything submitted may be made public on this blog.

Ms.Aftab reserves the right to report any abuse, threats or harassment to the requisite authorities.