Facebook have introduced a new suicide prevention tool that could potentially save lives.
The biggest social network in the world has just announced that they’re introducing a new suicide prevention tool to allow worried friends to report suicidal content. Made in collaboration with experts in suicide prevention, this could be legitimately life-saving.
Next month, US Facebook users will be able to directly report worrying content to a qualified team of professionals at Facebook HQ “working around the world, 24/7”.
If this tool is rolled out with tact and efficacy, it could help millions of people reach out to struggling friends they ordinarily might avoid, ignore, or not understand. It could help assuage “Bystander Syndrome,” which is when friends feel they don’t have the skills to intervene or are worried they’ll experience repercussions for getting involved.
The new tool will allow you to directly flag a post as it appears on your news feed. The troubling content will then be checked by Facebook’s team, who can assess it for suicidal tendencies and get in touch with the user directly.
This statement comes from Rob Boyle, Facebook Product Manager & Nicole Staubli, Facebook Community Operations Safety Specialist:
“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.”
Let me, for a moment, demonstrate how utterly devastating suicide is (and how positive this FB tool could be).
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men and women between 15 and 44.
Overall 7 people will take their lives everyday.