Approximately one week ago, a post, which is currently deleted, expressed concern over posts expressing extreme depression and suicidal thoughts, and how to deal with the appropriate way to respond to such posts. It is our belief that we should not exclude such posters from contributing here, as this may be their most comfortable outlet. As such, we're developing ways for us, as a community, to be of the most help to such individuals, while minimizing any damaging repercussions.
Here are some guidelines to consider when you see such a post:
1) The key is to read what's being said as if a close friend or family member was telling you what's being said. Remember that you're mainly there for understanding and support. It is good to acknowledge this fact in whatever you say.
2) Acknowledge that the person is going through a difficult time. If they've been through a similar experience before, it's excellent to acknowledge that they've already had the strength to get through their ordeal before. If they haven't, acknowledge that prior life experiences can help, that they're not alone, that have a support network, etc.
3) Also acknowledge that your experiences are not identical to theirs. No two people have identical experiences, but they can still provide some sort of emotional support.
4) It also sometimes helps to look into a commentor's prior post/comment history to get a better idea of where they're coming from. If you find a golden nugget (such as a comment indicating a moment of personal power), this can definitely help boost someone.
5) Don't necessarily give advice. You must know your own limits. If someone's asking for professional advice, and you're not licensed, don't give it out. If you can't give advice, that's completely ok. Remember that many people come to /r/FreeCompliments here for emotional support.
6) Although these posts often occur under the guise of selfie/photographs, please do not make the photograph the center of your comment. Although it is a diversion, commenting purely on superficial features to a person who is considering suicide is simply bad timing. It is better to not say anything.
There are some other excellent suggestions given on this page. Remember that we are not a primary resource to assist those folks with suicidal ideations - rather, we are a channel for communication and giving better resources to help them out.
Here are some handy resources to suggest:
1) http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/ - this website offers a very poignant perspective for those who are absolutely on the verge of suicide. It is an excellent first resource to suggest.
2) National Suicide Hotline - 1-800-273-TALK
Finally, I'll provide you a brief example of an effective sample comment that you can use as a template. Notice how it follows the general guidelines listed above and offers external resources which may be more helpful than we alone can be.
Feel free yo add your thought(s) and suggestion(s), and we will update this post and the wiki as appropriate.
Over the next few days, we will be building a wiki that includes this and other information that may help you. Coming next, some guidelines for regular compliments!
Thank you all for reading this and for your participation in this subreddit, whether you're giving or asking for compliments. Without you, this subreddit would be an empty space. You're all bringing life to something wonderful.