PARENTS have been urged to closely monitor their children’s use of social media app TikTok after a video depicting a man dying by suicide was distributed on the site.

The video originated on Facebook Live and although TikTok are working to remove the video, it is being posted under fake captions.

A letter sent by the assistant head of a Christchurch school said: “We would like to alert you to an online safety issue which you may have seen on the news regarding TikTok and the recent distribution of a video of an adult live streaming their own suicide.

“It’s possible that those using the platform can access the video without having searched for it. It seems it even features at the end of other regular videos that children would be drawn to watch.

“To reduce the risk of your child accessing this distressing video we would recommend close monitoring of their TikTok use or remove access to TikTok altogether whilst this issue is resolved.”

The assistant head added: “This could be a good opportunity to have a discussion with your child about the importance of internet safety and to have an open conversation regarding the different social media platforms they are accessing and the type of material they are viewing and sharing.”

Ineqe Safeguarding Group issued advice following the spread of the video.

A statement on the company’s website said: “When viral events happen information can travel quickly, often before full details have emerged.

“You should note that details, videos and images are still being shared online, which can be distressing for many young people and others.”

The safeguarding company said parents can show children the control they have in managing and discuss “any stories” a young person may have seen without naming the video.

Parents are also urged to talk about the importance of being sensitive online and if a child sees the video, discuss the benefit of staying offline for a few hours.

Finally, parents are encouraged to talk to a young person about what they would do if they needed support for their mental health.

If you have been affected by any issues raised in the article, contact the Samaritans’ helpline number on 116 123.