For Suicidal Social Media Users, Groups Throw Out Online Lifelines

On Christmas Day last year, Sadie Walker, 15, of Garland killed herself. Later, her parents found her Instagram account. It was full of messages about self-harm.

David and Norma Walker, Sadie’s parents, had been unaware of Sadie’s online activity. They sought out her online friends, hoping to understand what had happened.

The friends were also suicidal. They told the Walkers that Sadie joined their online community because she was trying to support and comfort them. But in the process, she was exposed to a negative environment and became overwhelmed.