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Suicide Guidelines - clarification plus resources

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The following guideline is posted in the general guidelines thread:

Suicide notes or good-bye letters (because of suicide) are not permitted. If you are thinking of suicide, please call the police, a local hotline, or RAINN (1-800-656-HOPE). We understand that everyone isn't always in a happy mood, and you can definitely post about how you're feeling, but that does not include suicide notes (or posts that could be interpreted as suicide notes). Most of the people here are not trained professionals. While we want to help you through your difficult times, the feeling of helplessness that comes with reading someone's suicide note online is incredible. Please seek help from someone who can help to keep you safe. In situations where a member expresses clear and imminent suicidal ideation, the moderators of this board may report the information provided to and collected by pandys.org to local authorities.

We thought this guideline was worth giving special prominence because it is easier to find and is something that confuses people often enough to be worth restating here.

What follows is an elaboration and clarification of the above guideline:

What is okay:

We acknowledge that there is a difference between feeling suicidal and being actively suicidal. Many people know what it is to have the feeling without any intention of following through. Depression and anxiety are unfortunately such frequent survivor issues, and they often cause suicidal feelings/thoughts. Also, members in currently abusive situations may consider that they have few other alternatives to suicide. Thus, we would hate members to think that it isn't okay to discuss feeling suicidal or to ask for support. Please do ask for support and suggestions for getting through and overcoming self-harming urges. Peer support can be tremendous for finding out what has helped others and trying it on for yourself. It can also decrease the isolation you may be feeling. It's a very good idea if this is backed up by the support of a counsellor - or you have a crisis line on hand (see below for resources). Indeed, these may need to be primary supports for you just for now. Feel free to post and ask other members what good resources they know of.

It's also okay to share about past suicide attempts. We are very glad you survived to be talking about it with your peers here.

Please do not post that you have "overdosed", "OD'd" or share any other specific and/or graphic information about how you attempted suicide. These descriptions do not foster healing and can be detrimental to other members of the community. You are able to reach out for support for what you are feeling without sharing these details. Graphic descriptions are best handled in the context of a therapy session with your trained therapist. Any description of how you attempted suicide will be edited by the moderators. You are free to say that you have previously attempted suicide, but we ask that you keep the wording nonspecific.

You may share about the suicide of somebody close to you. We have a Memorial thread here that you can leave some words in if you like.

Please begin all posts that refer to suicide with a trigger warning.

What is not okay:

We do not allow posting goodbye letters, or using the board, pm system or chatroom to discuss an imminent intent to suicide. This rule is made with the well-being of members of the community in mind for reasons stated above - it is just so distressing to people who are limited in their capacity to act. Importantly though, this rule is also made with your safety in mind. We cannot offer crisis support for people contemplating ending their lives; it would be irresponsible to pretend to do so. We believe that if you are hurting badly enough to be considering suicide, you deserve the very best help available. Crisis help can help you discern what that is.

We are not of the belief that people who threaten suicide are just "attention-seeking." We take all such threats very seriously, hence why we will attempt to contact authorities. Nevertheless, it must be stated we have had situations in the past where members have been manipulated/intimidated by repeat suicide threats via pm, board-posts or in chat. It will be obvious how completely unfair it is to ask anybody to be or to feel responsible for your actions, or to divert energy away from their own healing because of manipulation. Many of us have in the past been forced into responsibility for manipulative abusers who threatened suicide; such a situation can trigger the stress of these past situations. If you have engaged in this behaviour we believe that you are truly in deep pain. But manipulation of other members in this way is definitely not allowed and although we will work with you to help you find healthy ways of coping with your pain, repeated threats can result in one or more of the following:

  • Suspension from the chatroom
  • Suspension from the board until you engage professional assistance
  • Permanent suspension from the chatroom
  • Moderated posts where posting has repeatedly contained suicide threats
  • Disabling of pm privileges
  • Permanent banning from the board

Your best healing will come from considering how you can get your needs met without resorting to forcing other people to feel responsible.

For members who believe that another member intends suicide: Please do not hesitate to contact a moderator and ask us to deal with it. Your emotional safety is important too. Watch your own boundaries and self-care; you may like to recommend that the member seeks crisis support or contacts a moderator themselves. You won't be getting anybody into trouble, rather you're helping to ensure the member gets real assistance.

If you are contemplating suicide: Once again, please know that this guideline isn't made to stop you from reaching out, but to encourage you to seek the proper avenues of support. We truly care about you and your fate. If you want to contact a moderator and let us know your area, we will be happy to look up some resources for you. You are valuable and special to us. Too many beautiful survivors have been lost to suicide, and we don't want you to be one of them.

Suicide is a permanent solution to an impermanent problem; remember that this too shall pass.

Thanks for understanding, and please don't hesitate to contact a board mod (blue names) or chat mod (purple names) for further clarification or any problems you may have.

Take care

The Moderating Team


  • USA: 1.800.SUICIDE (784.2433)
  • CANADA: +1 (519) 667-6711 (Distress Ccnter)
  • UK: 116 123 (Samaritans)
  • ROI: 1850 60 90 90 (Samaritans)
  • AUS: 13 11 14 (Lifeline)
  • NZ: 06 368 3096 (Samaritans)
  • WORLDWIDE: www.befrienders.org offers an extensive list of suicide crisis lines in most countries that are easy to search for and find.

It may also help if you have a therapist who allows out-of-hours contact. The good news about depression is also that it's treatable. Speak to your therapist and/or doctor about possible medications to help you.

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