[LINK] Aussie 'Video Lifelines'

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Sun Mar 25 14:45:47 AEST 2007

At 01:21 PM 25/03/2007, stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
>Mr Whitrick told users of web chat site PalTalk what he was going to do
>two hours before he killed himself on Wednesday night.

In the early days of text only conferencing, about 14 years ago, we 
had a suicide attempt (i'm only aware of one, but there may have been 
others). This was in a college (TAFE level) setting. Because the 
student told others in the conference, they were able to get 
authorities involved to save this person. I guess no one on the video 
system believed him. I wonder why. Saying they thought it was a joke 
just doesn't wash. Maybe the college young people were aware how 
prevalent suicide really is. Or the set up of an 'insult' site made 
them all not really care at all about the others as people, just insultees.

I doubt video lifelines would have any effect without the humane 
concern. If it had been a helpline, rather than an insult line, this 
guy may not have died. Video or text or phone wouldn't make a bit of 


Jan Whitaker
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
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'Seed planting is often the most important step. Without the seed, 
there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
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