Tech

Facebook Will Now Reach Out To Users Who Their Friends Think Are Suicidal

“Social connectedness helps people,” says Facebook, “and that’s what we do best.”

If a Facebook user posts a worrying status, that person’s friends can now report the post and try to get them help.

Facebook will then give them the option to contact the friend, contact another friend for support, or contact a suicide hotline.

The new feature began yesterday.

Dado Ruvic / Reuters

The social network teamed up with a number of suicide prevention organizations and research centers in hopes of helping people online prevent their friends from committing suicide.

These organizations include National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Now Matters Now, Save.org, and Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention from the School of Social Work at Washington University.

Facebook has a special team who will look at reported posts and, if they deem it necessary, contact the person who posted it with this pop-up:

facebook.com

Next, the person will be given these options:

Facebook.com

If they select “talk to someone,” they will be given the options to call NSPL, or chat with a helper online.

Facebook.com

If they select “Get tips and support,” they will be shown a video of someone who contemplated or attempted suicide and overcame it:

Facebook.com

Then they will be given advice on some things that might help them get through a hard time:

Facebook.com

Finally, they will be given a few more ways to seek help.

Facebook.com

“Many of us don’t know what to do when a friend makes comments [expressing suffering or resignation] on social media. Facebook wants to change that,” the organization Forefront said in the video on the new feature.

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/120520232.

vimeo.com

“One of the first things that Forefront taught us is that social connectedness helps people more than anything else,” says Facebook’s product manager Rob Boyle in the video, “and that’s what we do best.”

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Ema O'Connor is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ema O'Connor at ema.oconnor@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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