Hoppe and Tiltscher said they got messages from young people looking for help immediately after starting the Pink Whale page.
In response, they actually hired a psychologist to answer the messages.
“People started to send messages asking for help, children who were hurting themselves and even the people who were thinking about taking your lives,” she said.
They also paid for targeted Facebook ads to spread word of the challenge. Since it was started in mid April, the page has grown to over 300,000 followers.
Original Pink Whale Challenge cocreator Hoppe said that despite the success of their anti-challenge, change will only come when people begin having open conversations about suicide.
“Our main TV channel doesn’t talk about suicide — that is bizarre, thinking about the numbers,” she said. “At this moment we’re sure that the project needs to get bigger.”
If you are feeling at risk of suicide or if you are worried about someone else call the Samaritans on116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI).
If you’re in the United States you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).