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Community Members in Crisis

In the past, we have had community members express suicidal thoughts or ideas. When these situations arise, it is critical that we respond in a way that is empathetic to that community member, points them to the professional resources that they need, and protects the rest of the community.

We are not mental health professionals, but provide an important role in encouraging a community member to seek the help they need. This guide is meant to guide our responses when a community member expresses thoughts or ideas involving suicide or other self harm.

This response guide is heavily based on the Support for Suicidal Individuals on Social and Digital Media guide from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Every community advocate and moderator must read this guide. We also encourage every member of the Chef community to also familiarize themselves with this guide.

IMMINENT RISK - The Exception to All Rules

See the "The Exception to all rules: Imminent Risk" section of Support for Suicidal Individuals on Social and Digital Media guide from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

In this situation, it is essential to immediately reach out to a Chef employee - DM or Twitter might be best in this situation - who will then immediately notify Chef's VP of People, Jenny Armstrong-Owen (her phone number is in the internal Company directory). If she is not available, notify Human Resources Manager Becky Pratt (her phone number is in the internal Company directory). If neither are available, then the Chef employee must notify another employee at manager level or above to escalate the situation.

If you are not immediately able to reach Jenny Armstrong-Owen, Becky Pratt, or a Chef employee at manager level or above, call your local emergency services line (e.g. 911 in the U.S., 112 in Europe or Australia, or whatever number is appropriate for your local area). Emergency dispatch will be able to assist with reaching resources in the community member's local area.

Checklist

If a community member expresses thoughts or ideas that indicate they are at risk for suicide - but not at imminent risk - (see the "How to Identify Someone at Risk for Suicide Online" section of Support for Suicidal Individuals on Social and Digital Media guide from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline - follow this checklist:

  • Immediately DM the person who posted the message with a message along the lines of "It sounds like you are having a really difficult time right now. If you need a little extra emotional support, there are resources available that can help you 24/7"
  • Send them this list of global Suicide Prevention/Support lines
  • If in a virtual space, take a screenshot of the message(s) indicating the community member is in crisis.
  • Delete the messages from any public channels (if you are unable to do this, skip to the next step)
  • Notify one of the community advocates listed in the Code of Conduct via direct message and email
  • Notify Jenny Armstrong-Owen, Chef's VP of People, at jowen@chef.io
  • Document the incident (including screenshots) in the Chef Community Incidents Repo. (If you do not have access to this repo, reach out to a community advocate identified in the Code of Conduct.)
  • After the initial response, please get help for yourself after the event. It's common to experience trauma by proxy when dealing with an event such as this. Chef Employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Please see the "Employee Assistance Program" card on the Employee Handbook Trello board. If you are not sure where this Handbook is located, please reach out to the Employee Experience team (or someone on your team) to be pointed to the correct link. If you are not a Chef employee, consider calling your local crisis line - see the links above for a list - to talk to someone about the experience of supporting someone in crisis. They will be glad to talk to you!
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