INTERNATIONAL: What Is the Blue Whale Game, the Russian “Challenge” Blamed For Suicides?

July 28, 2017
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Newsweek

Suicide prevention experts are recommending that parents monitor their children’s internet activity for signs of the Blue Whale Challenge, an online game that encourages participants to end their own lives. Blue Whale reportedly started in Russia in 2013 and has spread internationally through social media networks. While the extent of its influence is unclear, experts believe that its potential to increase suicide risk among vulnerable youth warrants significant concern. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has released a statement that advises parents not to discuss the game with children unless they are already aware of it. Instead, parents should check in with kids to find out how they are doing and watch their online activity to make sure they are not engaging with the game. Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, said that while there was not yet cause for alarm, adults can take preventive measures to protect young people from harm. “There is no need to panic, because this is not yet a crisis, rather a caution to alert people in advance,” he said.

Spark Extra! Read the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention statement.

Populations:  Youth
Planning and Implementing:  New and Social Media