This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.
Some time ago we reported on the Samaritans and a suicide prevention tool they were trying to roll out on social media, unfortunately for Samaritans there was big questions over privacy, people were unhappy and the app was pulled.
However, Facebook is teaming up with Now Matters Now, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org and Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention to give users more options when they see a friend post something which is concerning.
If a friend posts something you feel indicates they may be considering or actually self harming you will be able to click on the arrow in the top right of the post and click on “Report Post.” This will now give an option to contact the friend who has made the post, contact another friend for support or contact a suicide helpline directly.
Facebook will then look at the post, if they feel that the report indicates distress they will reach out to the person who made is and the following will pop up when the person next goes to use Facebook.
If the person in question decides they wish to talk then they will be prompted to either call a friend, send a friend a Facebook message or contact a suicide helpline. They can also message a suicide prevention expert instead of calling and Facebook is also providing an option to look at videos of true stories of people who have dealt with suicidal thoughts.
Facebook will also suggest some relaxation techniques and can even help with finding someone a self-care expert.
Facebook has had ways of reporting suicidal people since 2011 however this is the first steps to embed support directly into posts. Currently the feature is available to 50% of users in America and will roll out to the rest of America over the next few months.
There is no word on when or even if the service will be expanding into different countries.
About The Author
Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis, he is also a proud father of his bearded dragon, Lola. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here.