Last year, Facebook opened up its suicide prevention tool to everyone, allowing its users to report worrying content on Facebook. Today, the social networking company is updating its suicide prevention tool, making it easier to help those in need.
First up, Facebook wants to help users as quickly as possible, which is why they have integrated their suicide prevention tool on Facebook Life. People watching live videos now have the option to reach out to the person directly, and report the video to the social network. Once reported, Facebook will provide resources to the person sharing the video, offering them the option to reach out to a friend or contact a help line.
On top of that, Facebook is also working with organisations to offer support to its users. They are partnering with organisations like Crisis Text Line, the National Eating Disorder Association, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Users will have the ability to connect with these crisis support partners over Messenger to get real-time help directly from the organisation’s Page.
Finally, Facebook is testing on additional features to make it easier to identify suicidal posts and to help those in need. The company will use pattern recognition to identify posts that are “very likely to include thoughts of suicide”. The Community Operations team will review these posts and provide help, even if someone on Facebook has not reported it yet.
Facebook is currently testing out these new tools in the U.S., and hopefully everything goes well so that they can roll it out to more users. According to the social networking company, “there is one death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds”, and it’s the “leading cause of death for 15 – 29 year olds”. It’s good that the company is working hard on offering help to those in distress because sometimes, “the best ways to prevent suicide is for those in distress to hear from people who care about them”.