Social media have helped save veterans from suicide


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I  often heard about the dark sides of social media like addiction, privacy, cyber-bullying and many more. Lately, I tried to find out what are the good things social media have brought into my life. then I remembered that Facebook helps saves the lives of veterans from suicide. Veteran committing suicide is something that affects me a lot because my best friend who lost one of his legs during a deployment killed himself when I was deployed in Afghanistan and I felt so powerless at that time. In Canada, we lost more soldiers from suicide than from the Afghan combat.

Suicidal post on Facebook

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Last fall while I was in England, I saw a troubling post on my Facebook feed. One of my friends I served with in Afghanistan post a goodbye message on Facebook. I felt powerless at that moment because I was too far to go check on him. Then the power of social networks changed my friend’s life, other brothers in arms saw the post and one of them knew where he lives.  He went to his house right away and found him unconscious (he had tried to kill itself a medication overdose) After a few days in the hospital my friend had fully recovered from the overdose. So that night Facebook helped to save his life.

Veterans groups on Facebook


A picture of corporal Alain Lacasse during his deployment is Afghanistan in 2007. Image found on

In 2011 a well known Vandoos (Vandoos is how members of the Royal 22 Regiment are called by anglophones) Alain Lacasse committed suicide, everyone was surprised and one of his old friends decided that we have lost too many brothers from suicide and created a Facebook page to help veterans. Later, when I talked with him, he told me that they often received private messages from distress veterans who were about to commit suicide and found ways to send them help.

Report suicidal thoughts on Facebook


Have you ever thought about what you should do if you see a suicidal thought on Facebook or other social networks?  Check on this article from CNET to learn how to report a suicidal thought to Facebook.Even if you’re not sure if the person is going to act, don’t take any chances and report it.

Have you ever seen a suicidal post on social media? What have you done about it ? 


Facebook: Read this new post to know how social media have helped save veterans.

Twitter:  Social media have saved combat veterans. #combatvet

4 thoughts on “Social media have helped save veterans from suicide

  1. My deepest condolences on the loss of your friend. My son did two tours in Afghanistan and when he returned to us he was not the same. After the death of my husband, his father, he really struggled with depression and at times suicide was my greatest fear. He was diagnosed with PTSD and will for the rest of his life. He has a strong support network, but because of your article, I am now even more aware of the importance in monitoring social media platforms. If I did see a post of a suicidal thought I would, without hesitation, report it. As a mother, I hope someone would do the same for my son. Thank you for your discussion post

  2. Thanks for this blog! It is not often that I get to read stories about social media used for good purposes. Most often, the stories I come across focus on the nefarious side of social media platforms and companies. What Facebook is doing is good. I hope other platforms catch up.

  3. Great job on your post, and it is such a timely blog too. During this holiday season, many people who suffer from depression or PTSD, find it difficult to continue living. Thank you for highlighting this issue, and for writing about the positives that social media has brought into all our lives. It is good that Facebook has updated its tools and services to help intervene in a case where our friends and loved ones may be suicidal. The more tools and resources we have and the more awareness is being spread, the better equipped we are to deal with it once we encounter it. Social media has a responsibility to help educate and provide resources, as many many people turn to social media to communicate what is difficult to utter out loud in person. I have never encountered someone I knew who was suicidal while on social media. If I do, I will know that on Facebook, there are tools available to help. Thank you for shedding light on this very sensitive subject.

  4. This is very interesting as social media builds positive awareness around us and creates that unique audience for people to care about their loved ones. I have lost my loved ones who served their lives to protect our country and this is an honorable moment to reflect on what happened in the past. Suicide is the worst thing it causes depression and mental illness to the mind and gives no hope but to end the lives. Its not good to do suicide but always be happy with your life and keep on moving forward.

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