Facebook has brought forth a new system that will try and identify users having suicidal thoughts so that they can get help. The system will allow concerned friends to report content for review. After Facebook reviews the reports confirms that it may indicate suicidal feelings in the user, Facebook will then send that user notifications. The notations will state that a friend has attempted to help them and offer the access to suicide prevention resources.
This new system builds on a reporting feature that had already been in place since 2011, which passed details of a user thought to be suicidal to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US, and the Samaritans in the UK.
“Keeping you safe is our most important responsibility on Facebook,” Rob Boyle of Facebook said.
“Today, at our fifth Compassion Research Day, we announced updated tools that provide more resources, advice and support to people who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts and their concerned friends and family members.”
Facebook said they have worked with several organizations on the updates such as Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org, along with consulting with people who had experience with suicide or self-injury.
“One of the first things these organizations discussed with us was how much connecting with people who care can help those in distress.
“If someone on Facebook sees a direct threat of suicide, we ask that they contact their local emergency services immediately. “We also ask them to report any troubling content to us.”
Teams have been set up teams around the world who are working 24/7, to review any report that comes. The Facebook teams will prioritize the most serious reports and then send help and resources to those users in distress.
There will also be new resources and support to the concerned friend who reported the post, there will be additional options for them to call or message their troubled friend to let them know that they care, or the ability to reach out to another friend or a professional at a suicide hotline to get support.