Here in Australia, approximately one in five people will experience a mental illness in each 12-month period.
Six per cent of the adult population is affected by depression, while 14 per cent live with anxiety disorders. Many others are affected by psychotic illnesses, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders and personality disorders.
Raising awareness of the resources and support available to Australians is vital in the management of mental illness and the prevention of suicide — and Facebook’s latest initiative is a great step in the right direction.
After collaborating with local services Headspace and Beyond Blue, and consulting with people who have personal experience with self-injury or suicide, the social media giant announced on Friday new changes to support local users experiencing "a difficult time".
One feature allows users to anonymously flag concerning status updates from people on their Friends list.
"We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review any report that comes in. The team prioritise the most serious reports like self-harm and suicide and send help and resources to those in distress," Facebook explained in a post.
These resources might be offered through a private message to the user, or through a click-through function — this presents tools for finding mental health professionals and reaching out to friends, and suggests relaxation strategies that might be helpful to someone in distress.
Watch: Mia Freedman shares how she manages her generalised anxiety disorder. (Post continues after video.)