Suicide

Although hopefully you will never run into this situation, it is THE most important issue you will ever come across.

If you become aware of someone who is threatening suicide the first thing you need to do is contact Dawg, Jules or Tom. If you can't raise them through Tracker IMs, you will be given a list of other guides you may contact at the end of the training session.

As a Guide you CAN NOT take an active, preventative role. You can keep them talking if that seems necessary, better yet, try to get their friends to keep them occupied. But, whatever you do, NEVER engage in counseling them. You may recommend a suicide hotline, or other available trained help.

There are two reasons for this. The most important being, you are not trained for this situation, do not take on the responsibility of trying to be the hero. You may inadvertently make things worse. Every time in the past this has happened an emergency response team has shown up at the persons house. Let them do their job, yours is to make sure the person gets the help they need by alerting administration to the problem as quickly as possible.

As a side note, this is the reason we do not allow impersonation of a Guide, Host, or Administrator. Could you imagine someone calling for help and getting a goofball who has no idea how to handle it?

Dealing With The Situation

Normally you will be alerted by a friend or someone who is talking to the person. Your first step is to contact Dawg, Jules or Tom !!

Go to the room, talk to the involved parties, do whatever needs to be done to keep the person talking until help can reach them. You'll be in IMS with Administration at the same time, they'll help you out.

During one situation we had the Vice President of America's second largest ISP on the phone, and the Assistant Police Chief of the local police Department dealing with the suicide threat. No one online is anonymous. As you can see, everybody from Halsoft, the ISP, and the local police take suicide threats very seriously.

In cases where it is a false claim of suicide the police generally will charge the individual. This has happened to some of our chatters before.

It cannot be stressed enough that Dawg,  Jules, Tom or other Administration is contacted first. Of all things you do as a guide, although you may never have to deal with it, this is the most important issue, everything else pales by comparison.