VERIFY: Is the 'Blue Whale Challenge' responsible for teen suicides?

The game is described as a 50-day challenge during which teens complete a series of risky, dangerous tasks that could end in death.

SAN ANTONIO - We took a look at a bizarre and dangerous game making waves on social media. It's most popular among teenagers and recent reports claim the "Blue whale challenge" is responsible for teens committing suicide.
 
Based on a description from the national police in France, the game is described as a 50-day challenge during which, teens complete a series of risky, dangerous tasks that could end in death.
 
The challenge is believed to have resulted in deaths both in Russia and in Spain, but we cannot independently verify those reports.
 
We do know that police in France issued an alert for teens and parents on their verified twitter account. Translated, a poster reads in part, 'don't allow yourself to be influenced.  The game is not worth risking your life".
 
We reached out to the San Antonio police department to see if they had heard of any reports of the challenge happening locally. In an email, they said they were not aware of it happening here. 
 
Instagram offers support for those going through something difficult. We talked to Terri Mabrito, with Voices for Children of San Antonio. 
 
"I think parents need to be in touch with what their kids are doing online," she said. "If we're not talking about mental health, then those things will seem more glamorous to teens... If we're not talking about, teens are left with this curiosity to go these places," Mabrito said. 
 
Mabrito said parents should look out signs in their teens, like spending extra time online, isolation, lost of interest in things they once enjoyed, or an extreme change in personality.
 
If your teen or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-talk (8255).

© 2017 KENS-TV


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