Lucknow, Sep 26 (IANS) Only a fraction of such individuals with suicidal tendencies tend to express their feelings on social media, but 99 per cent of them do not express their intention online.
Rahul Srivastava, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), social media cell, UP Police, said that till now, only five cases of individuals displaying suicidal or self-harming behaviours have been identified and addressed by the police since April after the tie-up of their social media cell with Facebook and Instagram.
As per the arrangement, these social networking sites issue an alert to the police control room in case any person submits a social media post on FB or Instagram, expressing intention to commit suicide or cause self-harm.
After the tie-up six months ago, the police have a panel of psychologists to counsel the rescued individuals.
However, none of the rescued individuals have opted for voluntary counselling so far.
'The cases, which have come to us, have been solved and the individuals rehabilitated through counselling by police officers. Till now, intervention at the level of psychologists has not been done,' stated Srivastava.
He further said, 'If any child or any person of any age expresses intention to commit suicide or cause self-harm, on social media, we immediately get an alert from their office (Facebook or Instagram) through a phone call as well as email -- to share their details.'
The police then track the location of the person, and the district police are alerted, he added.
The police find out the location of these identified individuals through the mobile numbers via their servers, explained the officer.
Except for one case, which involved a minor from Rae Bareli, wherein a video of him playing with his grandfather's gun had been uploaded online, all the other four cases were of middle-aged adults based out of Prayagraj and Lucknow.
Depending on the severity of the case, the individuals can be referred to a psychologist. Though they are informed that they can privately consult psychologists, none of the individuals rescued seem keen on taking this step through this method.
The ASP said they have also come across cases where people have written on WhatsApp groups and the police have received an alert. There are still many people who do not speak of their issues on social media.
Intervention in such cases requires a multi-sectoral approach by all stakeholders -- like the social welfare department, the education department and the health department.
The UP Police and other helplines have solved more such cases through direct intimation, than they have through social media.
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