Gina Carroll introduced herself to me last fall when she asked if she could quote from my article on parents being their kids' 'friends' on Facebook. A contributing writer for BlogHer, author of two parenting blogs, Tortured by Teenagers and Think Act: Proactive Black Parenting, an attorney and facilitator, mother of five…honestly I don't know how she does it! I admire her very much, not least because she focused her considerable intelligence and compassion on a very difficult subject: Online suicide threats.

I was honored when she asked to interview me for the article. Here is an excerpt:

Many of us who encounter someone's words of desperation or harmful
intent in a blog or forum are extremely disturbed and alarmed. We want
to help or intervene, but we don't know if we should act; if the
expression is real; and if so, what to do. Suicidal expressions online
are unique in that the person in pain is likely a stranger. We might
not know an identity or where he or she lives. We don't know if they
are sincere, just blowing off steam, or pulling off a carefully
orchestrated art experiment.

Dr. Elvira Aletta, practicing clinical psychologist, mother of two teens and blogger at,
says that fundamentally these details don't matter. We should assume
the person expressing suicidal intentions is serious. We should act
swiftly and with the goal of connecting him or her with professional
help. The following is an excerpt from my interview with Dr. Aletta
about online crisis and what to do when you encounter it…

Read the entire article: Encountering Crisis Online: What to Do When Someone Threatens Suicide