Parents: Look out for ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ game
A deadly game is reportedly circulating among youth on social media and on an app, known as the “Blue Whale” challenge or suicide game. Prevention Management Organization of Fremont County and the Lander and Riverton school districts all report that the game doesn’t appear to have surfaced locally, but warnings are being issued on national and international levels.
The game, which appears to have originated in Russia, allegedly encourages players to take part in 50 days of self-harm before “winning” by killing themselves. While some international news organizations say that more than 130 suicides have been linked to the game in Russia, that has largely been unproven. Other reports state the app claims to hijack personal information and extorts players to participate. It’s also unclear how much it has really been used in the U.S. Nevertheless, school districts across the country, and national news organizations, are wanting parents to be aware about the potential danger.
PMO Community Prevention Director Kelly Rees said that even though the game doesn’t seem to have appeared here, it’s a good opportunity to open a dialogue with your children about suicide and to better get to know what’s going on their lives.
Look at these behavioral cues and discussion points to learn how to help someone you suspect might be in a mental health crisis.
If you are in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Get additional resources here.