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To Sam

Suicide witnessed

hi sam

i saw somonens suicide its all over the internet and i had seen the vidio and when i was out with the dog i couldnt stop seeing it

do you have any advise on this please?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Looking at pictures and videos online is usually safe, but occasionally you might come across something you didn't want to see. When you see a picture or video like that, it might stay in your mind for a while. It's traumatic to see upsetting things and it's going to take time before you can process the emotions and memory of what you saw.

Sometimes, you might see these things without warning - maybe a friend's sent you a link, or it shows up on your feed. This isn't your fault. This is normally a safe space and you might be taken by surprise. If someone sends you a link, it's always best to ask what it is before looking at it. This is also a good way to make sure you're not being tricked into downloading viruses or going to scam pages.

You can find almost anything on the internet if you go looking for it, and sometimes curiosity might make you want to look for things you wouldn't normally watch. But most of the time, really upsetting videos and pictures are in places you have to choose or search for. If you do make the wrong choice and watch something you regret, try to use the experience to help you make a different choice next time.

Whether you've seen something upsetting accidentally or by choice, it's important to look after yourself. You might find yourself thinking about what you saw or re-playing it in your mind. When this happen, try to take your mind off what you've seen by watching lots of other, nicer things that can help you to forget. But you might find yourself thinking about it when you're not doing anything else, when you're out and about, or before going to sleep. When this happens, try to distract yourself with work, games or other things that need you to focus on them.

Another way to cope is by talking about what you've seen with other people. Before you talk to someone, though, you must make sure that they're okay to hear about it. They might not want to hear the details and you need to respect that. You can always talk about it with a Childline counsellor. They're always around to listen to you, no matter what.

I hope this has helped, and thanks for writing to me. Take care,


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