Facebook has rolled out a series of new tools designed to help those who might be considered a suicide risk. The tools will range from allowing users to flag concerning content, to offering help for those who might be considered at risk.
The new tools are the result of ongoing discussions with major mental health organisations and charities in the US including Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Save.org.
Facebook’s new tools will allow a person to flag a post that they believe is indicative of someone who is a suicide risk. Facebook now has a dedicated team which will review the content and then if necessary push out a message to the person in question.
They’ll be given the option to speak to a friend or seek help with a mental health expert at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
There’ll also be increased support for the person who flagged the issue giving them the option to reach out personally to their friend while also providing advice on how to support a person who might be feeling suicidal.
Posting on the Facebook Safety page Rob Boyle, Facebook Product Manager and Nicole Staubli, Facebook Community Operations Safety Specialist explain why they felt it was important that Facebook play as big a role as possible.
“We worked with mental health organizations Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org and others on these updates, in addition to consulting with people who had lived experience with self-injury or suicide. One of the first things these organizations discussed with us was how much connecting with people who care can help those in distress.”
These resources will be available initially in the US however Facebook has confirmed that it’s working to bring a similar level of support to other countries as well.
If you’ve been affected by the issues in this article, please call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.