This is fantastic and necessary.
Facebook has begun to roll out an update to its servers with a tool that they hope will be a big suicide prevention aid.
The new tool will allow users to flag content that seems concerning to them and if the posts by a certain user seem like they may be thinking about harming themselves, Facebook will contact the concerned party with three options.
It will offer to allow them to contact the friend, contact another friend for help, or contact a suicide prevention hotline.
But this option will only happen after a third party sees what the original troubling post was, and allows them to review it for authenticity.
Which is probably the best way of deflecting any trolling — especially since these third parties will be monitored by “teams working around the world, 24/7.”
Here’s what a couple of Facebook spokespeople wrote on the site:
“One of the first things these organizations discussed with us was how much connecting with people who care can help those in distress. We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review any report that comes in. They prioritize the most serious reports, like self-injury, and send help and resources to those in distress…Besides encouraging them to connect with a mental health expert at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, we now also give them the option of reaching out to a friend, and provide tips and advice on how they can work through these feelings. All of these resources were created in conjunction with our clinical and academic partners.”
Facebook has partnered with organizations such as Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Save.org to help them develop this possibly life saving tool.
While Facebook has had suicide prevention tools there before, this seems like it will be provide the best way to report TRUE suicide concerns in a seamless and easy manner.
However Facebook has also stated that if anyone sees someone post a point blank suicide threat, users should contact their local emergency services ASAP.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, please seek help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
[Image via Facebook.]