Facebook has introduced a potentially life-saving tool.

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”.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in young Australians.

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.

Read more:What if we could eliminate suicide? Entirely.

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.


75% of those numbers will be men.

Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander males are 2.5 times more likely to take their lives with indigenous females 3.4 times more likely, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The tool won’t be available in Australia immediately, but Facebook have promised to expand resources to all sites.

Read more:For anyone contemplating suicide, please read about Nellie Bishop.

It’s not uncommon for users to use the social platform to share their suicidal intentions with friends.

Just last year, 16-year-old Amber Cornwell posted a Facebook status asking her friends is anyone would miss her if she died. She later committed suicide.

And in perhaps one of the most publicised cases, 42-year-old British woman Simone Back announced her intentions to commit suicide on by writing, “Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone.” She had over 1000 friends on Facebook and no one intervened.

There aren’t any clear statistics available on just how many suicidal posts appear on Facebook each year and how many deaths result but the World Health Organisation estimates around 800,000 people take their lives each year round the world, with many more contemplating it.

If even one life is saved through this initiative, it will have been worth its development.

If you are at risk of suicide or need to speak to someone, please call Life Line on 13 11 14.