Facebook Vastly Improves Their Suicide Prevention Tool


Social media giant Facebook is going to provide timelier help to users who post updates suggesting thoughts of suicide, the conglomerate announced on Wednesday.

According to a post made by Product Manager Rob Boyle and Safety Consultant Nicole Staubli, a team of specially trained workers will review reports of posts that appear to be suicidal and if necessary send the poster notifications with suicide prevention resources, such as a connection to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline hotline.


The Facebook support posts are expected to look something like this:


Screen SHot 2 Screenshot 1


The team will also will contact the person reporting the posts, providing them with options to call or message the potentially suicidal friend, or to also seek the advice of a trained professional.


The new approach is an update on a less-user friendly system, implemented in 2011, that required users to upload links and screenshots to the official Facebook suicide prevention page.


Facebook collaborated with suicide prevention organizations Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Save.org.


Facebook was very clear that the update was not a replacement for local emergency services.