Facebook Aims to Save Lives with New Suicide Prevention Tool
Facebook is implementing new tools to increase its ability to help prevent suicides.
Last month, the company announced in a Facebook posting that it had developed new tools to help those that were considering suicide, as well as friends and family who may be concerned about someone.
In the past, users could report friends or family members who they thought may be having suicidal thoughts, but the process was clunky and things like screenshots of posts were necessary for anything to happen.
Now, if a Facebook friend posts something that they feel insinuates that their friend could be considering self harm, they will be able to click the little arrow at the top right of the post and click "Report Post." There, they will be given options to contact the friend who made the post, contact another friend for support, or contact a suicide helpline.
Once a post has been reported, Facebook will analyze it. If they feel that the post indicates that the person posting it is considering self harm, they will contact the user who posted it. That user will be greeted with a different screen the next time that they log in, indicating that someone that they know is worried about them. From there, they'll be given the option to reach out to a friend, or get tips or support.
This new reporting system is currently only available in the United States, but Facebook hopes to roll it out to other countries in the near future.