Facebook launches new products to offer increased support to prevent suicide and self-harm
A Facebook tool which let people flag posts from friends who may be at risk for self-harm or suicide, and previously available only for some English-language users has been updated and is now available worldwide to all users.
Announcing the new tool, Facebook said its suicide prevention resources will be available in all languages supported by the platform. The company’s global head of safety Antigone Davis and researcher Jennifer Guadagno wrote that the tools were “developed in collaboration with mental health organizations and with input from people who have personal experience with self-injury and suicide.”
“Now, with the help of these new tools, if someone posts something on Facebook that makes you concerned about their well-being, you can reach out to them directly — and you also can also report the post to us. We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in. They prioritize the most serious reports like self-injury.”
“And, as of today, the resources we send to the person who posted something concerning will include an expanded set of options. People can now choose to reach out to a friend, contact a helpline, or see tips.”
“If you or someone you know is in crisis, it is important to call local emergency services right away. You can also visit our Help Centre for information about how to support yourself or a friend: https://www.Facebook.com/help/594991777257121/.”
The tools were first made available to some users in the United States last year with the help of Forefront, Lifeline, and Save.org. Facebook said it will continue to partner with suicide prevention and mental health organizations in different countries wrote Techcrunch. The suicide prevention tools will help save a lot of lives or bring attention to this important issue which has become a public health concern as one person commits suicide every 40 seconds according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
With the new tool, users everywhere will soon be able to flag a friend’s post from a drop-down menu if they are worried about self-harm or suicide. Facebook gives them several options. For example, a list of resources, including numbers for suicide prevention organizations, can be shared anonymously, or a message of support can be sent (Facebook suggests wording). The post may also be reviewed by Facebook’s global community operations team, which may then “reach out to this person with information that might be helpful to them,” according to its Help Center. If someone is at immediate risk of hurting themselves, however, Facebook warns that police should be contacted.
You can view this video, created by Save.org and Lifeline titled “From Reporting to Supporting: Using Facebook to Support Someone in Suicidal Crisis” – https://Vimeo.com/160565004.
However, there are concerns regarding privacy which Facebook has to address as there have been cases where psychological researches have been conducted on users without their consent.