Officials warn parents of disturbing challenge promoting youth suicide

The Momo Challenge first popped up a few years ago and is now resurfacing. Triangle officials are warning parents and guardians to be aware of the disturbing online challenge.

A creepy figure with grotesque details is encouraging kids to take their own lives.

According to the Daily Mail, the challenge begins with a question asking the user to add and contact someone called Momo. Then comes a barrage of frightening and violent message promoting suicide.

RELATED: Police warning parents about 'Momo Challenge' that may encourage suicide

The challenge seems to be passed around primarily through WhatsApp and Facebook, and also allegedly through Youtube in Peppa the Pig and Fortnite videos.

The Durham Emergency Communications Center posted on Facebook, "There is always an element of danger when kids go unmonitored online."

A Raleigh mom was shocked when hearing what her kids could be exposed to online.

"I really don't like my kids being on social media anyway because there's so much cyberbullying that's going on. It's getting like really out of hand," said Jessica Jordan.

Mental Health professionals are urging parents to sit down with their kids.

"It's definitely very serious. Things like this are targeting really vulnerable children," said Hope Line Executive Director Lauren Foster. "It's definitely concerning and I think that having parents that are able to have conversations, those difficult conversations, of what depression can look like in you or your friends."

The challenge is circulating as the state released a new report finding suicide among the 10-17 age range is the second leading cause of deaths.

"They're calling it an epidemic now," said Foster. "It's gone up from the previous report card that went out."

The Hope Line is offering to speak with parents on how to approach the Momo Challenge. Parents can call (919) 231-4525 or (877) 235-4525,
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