Facebook Live suicides concern for Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A person has committed suicide and broadcasted it live online three times since December.

Nakia Venant, 14, hanged herself early Sunday at a Miami Gardens foster home before police could reach her. It was broadcast live on Facebook.

Jay Bowdy, an actor and former teacher from Fort Worth, Texas, broadcast his suicide on Facebook Live this week.

On December 30th, 12-year-old Katelyn Nichole Davis, from Georgia, hanged herself live online.

Clara Reynolds, the President and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, wants to see this trend stop before it starts.

“That is incredibly concerning for those of us in the field,” she said.

“I was completely stunned when I got word that this was happening, and particularly because it almost feels like we’ve got contagion situation.”

Counselors at the Crisis Center take about 1,900 calls per week. Of those, around 80 are suicide calls.

Why suicide in such a public way, like Facebook live?

Reynolds said it is the feel of a sense of connection.

“Particularly, in our younger age groups, social media has become their vehicle to become connected,” she said.

The Crisis Center’s 2-1-1 helpline is way people can connect to get help. Counselors are there 24 hours a day.

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