Young people are using hidden messages in posts on social media to show they are struggling with depression and anxiety.
The messages appear to be about mundane topics – pasta and hair products – but in fact are a sign teenagers and young people have been having suicidal thoughts.
Posts are being shared on TikTok and other platforms with the captions “I had pasta tonight” or “I shared my favourite pasta recipe” as well as “I finished my shampoo and conditioner at the same time”.
The lines are taken from a poem by Hannah Dains, Don’t Kill Yourself Today, which lists reasons you should not take your own life, reports the Mirror.
One TikTok video captioned “Told my mom about my favorite pasta recipe and she made it for dinner tonight” had more than three million views and 60,000 comments.
“You’re so loved,” one person replied.
“You haven’t come this far to only come this far,” another posted.
“I love you all so much it’s beyond words,” the poster commented. “Thank you so much.
Another shared a video of herself lying down in bed with the caption: “I’ve given out my favorite pasta recipe and my shampoo and conditioner are almost done.”
Figures show the suicide rate among people aged 10 to 24 increased 56% between 2007 and 2017.
Between 2007 and 2013, the suicide rate for young people grew at an average of 3% per year; between 2013 to 2017, that number shot up to 7% per year.
A study by Guildford Press also found that there is a link between social media and poor mental and emotional health.
If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operates a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] if you’d prefer to write down how you feel. You are not alone.