How do you handle safeguarding issues?

We manage a fairly active community with an audience on the younger side. Over the years we have had a few safeguarding issues (suicide threats) and while we are treating every occurrence seriously (as we should), it seems to always be a cry for attention that requires a lot of time and effort from our moderators to defuse; needless to say, this can take a toll on our staff who would prefer not having to deal with this.

Our community managers have been trained for this type of issues (through a 3rd party program) and we have a clear playbook for those situations with a special group that can be notified anytime there is suspicion of potential self harm, harassment or bullying.

I am wondering how other communities are handling those situations. When is it ok to terminate a conversation with someone who made self harm threats (after pointing him to the appropriate resources of course)?

Thank you in advance for any insight.


Interesting. Once upon a time, there was talk of:

… which if it were done like on Reddit, could send a special message to mods and automatically send a “message of concern” from the system account with referrals to admin-specified crisis resources, e.g.:


Thank you for your input.

In a way we already implemented the “message of concern” mechanism you describe; we have a private “safeguarding” discourse group where anyone can send issues (or simply tag the group in a worrying conversation)

The reddit help is a great resource; not sure we thought about looking there before.