17-year-old Danny Manes from Pueblo, Colorado noticed something troubling while he was scrolling through the usual photos, links, status updates, and videos from his friends on his Facebook news feed. He saw a suicidal-sounding status update from a 19-year-old who he knew casually though church events.
ABC News reports that the status update addresses Jesus, thanking him for his life but saying that "it was time." Manes sent a message to the teen, and asked his friend Gary Ramirez to help out as well.
Ramirez told ABC News: “I didn’t know the severity of it and I looked up his profile. He was posting goodbyes and ‘I’m sorry’ on his friends’ walls. I added him and messaged him and said this may sound like bullshit, but I really hope you reconsider your decision.”
The two teens -- who recently started "Hopeline for Teens," an anonymous advice page on Tumblr for teens struggling with depression, bullying, sexuality, and other issues -- spent six hours talking to the teen and urging him to seek help.
When the conversation became more intense, they called 911, and the police were able to get to the scene before any drastic measures were taken. The teen later sent a text to Manes and Ramirez, thanking them for their help.
A recent study by British researchers found that having prevention measures in place -- such as Hopeline for Teens -- does actually lead to a decrease in suicide rates. Results showed that prevention and crisis intervention measures in Wales were successful in leading to a drop in teen suicides.
Hopeline for Teens is one of many by-teens and for-teens sites and organizations that have recently arisen. After struggling with eating disorders for years, Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran from New York are now helping to heal others. The two girls were recently honored at Glamour's "Women of the Year" awards for their work with Project HEAL, the organization they founded to provide funding for eating disorder treatment.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.