As the police still investigate the suicide of a 14 year old boy in Mumbai, it has come to the forefront that a new social media trend, the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ might be the cause of this suicide.
The Blue Whale suicide game is believed to be a social media group which is encouraging people to kill themselves. The game got its name from one of the first disturbing challenges of the game. Invented by Phillip Budeikin, a 22 year old Russian, who is now in jail, the game as claimed over 100 lives worldwide.
While it is yet to be confirmed whether the suicide in Mumbai is directly a result of the Blue Whale Challenge, if reports are to be believed, it is a disturbing reality that India must equip itself for. We have compiled a list of cyber crime units across the country here– please share among your network! Here are some other ways in which you can address this issue.
In light of increasing rates of suicides across the world, Facebook has been working on suicide prevention tools for some time now. You can access them here. Facebook has also devised a Portal especially for parents, for those parents who may be looking for additional tips for guiding their children into a safe experience at the online world. There is also a bullying prevention hub built with specialists to help parents, educators and children to prevent bullying situations or to identify one and learn how to address properly. Additionally, you can also visit the Facebook Safety Centre, for multiple resources on various aspects of being safe online.
Additionally, if you feel that someone close to you – a friend, student or child- might be exhibiting signs of contemplating suicide, you can recommend the following suicide helplines-
Delhi – Sumaitri – 011-23389090
Nagpur Suicide Prevention Helpline – 8888817666
The Samaritans Mumbai – 022 6464 3267, 022 6565 3267, 022 6565 3247
Aasra – 91-22-27546669
ICall – 022 25521111
Chennai – Sneha – 91-44-2464 0050, 91-44-2464 0060
Kerala – Pratheeksha – +91 484 2448830
Ahmedabad – Saath – 079 2630 5544, 079 2630 0222
While the Blue Whale Challenge hasn’t made inroads in a big way in India, it is better that these precautions are taken to ensure a safe and healthy online environment for all.