Facebook to Offer Suicide Prevention Resources


February 26, 2015
by Suada Kolovic
Since 2011, Facebook has had a way for users to report potentially suicidal posts...just not the easiest way. Until now, it required users to upload links and screenshots to the official Facebook suicide prevention page before receiving any type of help. Starting Wednesday, Facebook will simplify the process and begin rolling out suicide prevention resources that are built directly into posts.

Since 2011, Facebook has had a way for users to report potentially suicidal posts...just not the easiest way. Until now, it required users to upload links and screenshots to the official Facebook suicide prevention page before receiving any type of help. Starting Wednesday, Facebook will simplify the process and begin rolling out suicide prevention resources that are built directly into posts.

For the project, Facebook worked with suicide prevention organizations Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Save.org. According to a Facebook post written by product manager Rob Boyle and Safety Specialist Nicole Staubli, a trained team 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. They 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 reporting feature is currently available for approximately 50 percent of Facebook users in the U.S. and will roll out to the rest of the country in the next few months, according to a spokesperson for Facebook.

What do you think of Facebook’s efforts to help suicide prevention? Do you think other social media sites should follow suit? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Discuss

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Adriana Ortega  on  3/20/2015 9:29:32 AM commented:

I strongly believe that Facebook's efforts to help suicide prevention is a great solution. Family members are invaribly aware of teenagers' actions toward the use of social media and now it is time for other social media sites to prevent teenagers harming themselves. This action should have existed before the use of social media occurred and that way, those who uses it and those aware of that person using it can feel more safe. Overall, any existing social media should have suicide prevention organizations.

Zoe C. Pusey  on  3/13/2015 10:08:33 AM commented:

This is an anazing idea. For the simple fact that Facebook is apart of many people's lives. People put all their thoughts and feelings on Facebook especially when they have nobody to talk to. The tricky part is trying to get to those that are wearing the mask like they're ok, but are tearing apart inside. My sister died to suicide a year and a half ago. Her last Facebook post would have gave you the assumption that she was self lifting herself and let go of the pain. Moments later she hung herself. All she needed was someone by her side, someone to talk to. Feeling like you're alone can make someone go crazy. I think this would be a good idea. I think if Facebook contacts someone with information of someone to soeak with, they should also give someone for the person to speak with directly. All people need is someone to vent with and someone to give good advice.

kayla chambers  on  3/12/2015 7:27:08 PM commented:

This new suicide prevention feature in Facebook will have a great impact on many lives. Not only can close friends help you out but now distant friends can take action to prevent suicide. Many people leave a hint to their piers that they want or are about to commit the act of suicide through social media. Having this new feature will allow their piers to take action and prevent any self harm to their friends. I wish to see this new integrated Facebook feature to spread across the world to other countries helping countless people.

Dani J  on  3/11/2015 11:00:15 AM commented:

I think it's a step in the right direction. To be quite honest I think this should had occurred much sooner. I think it will only be a "treatment" perspective rather than a "preventative" perspective. It's waiting until the person is voicing out that they are making these decisions or wanting to end their life. When rather I think what should had been handled years ago and been considered when FB first came out is the idea of cyber bullying. That is a much bigger picture and I believe can lead to these peoples feelings of suicide. The bullying is ridiculous on the internet and I think it would be smart to invest in some time and efforts to end the cyber bullying as a preventative action on top of the treatment action that they are now finally implementing. However I do hope that it is a successful act and that it does help those in need.

Beth W  on  3/10/2015 5:11:18 PM commented:

I think it is an incredibly bold move and I am grateful that so many solid organizations have been pooled to work on this venture. I hope the results are a decrease in suicide and an increase in awareness and prevention.

Audrea N.  on  3/10/2015 3:34:19 PM commented:

I am excited about the possibilities of implementing suicide prevention into facebook. I do believe that many FB users will tire of the notifications, and will ignore them. I am curious about what resources will be made available to the targeted population here.

Pachia V  on  3/6/2015 11:50:46 PM commented:

I think this is really cool because I know on Tumblr when you search up certain things that are connected to depression, there's a sign that pops up and tells us to contact depression hotlines and stuff like that if you or someone you know is having suicide thoughts. I didn't know any other sites that did this officially and seeing this happening is really nice to see. I also feel like people can take advantage of this and report other people's status as a suicide note for no reason but to abuse this easy way of immediately reaching for help.

Emerald H.  on  3/6/2015 2:30:49 PM commented:

I believe this project could save a lot of people from suicide if people are willing to help out with the reporting. I believe if other social media sites followed this there would be less suicides.

Elise Marble  on  3/6/2015 8:44:57 AM commented:

This is fantastic! Now can we launch an option report a post as cyber bullying? Maybe something like when you report the post Facebook takes it down/ freezes it until Facebook looks at it and deciphers if it's cyber bullying or not?

Lizeth C.  on  3/5/2015 8:09:55 PM commented:

I believe this will help and save a lot lifes. Other social media sites should have this option as well. Nowadays we spend most of our time on social media, and everyone is open to posting their feelings and thoughts online. I see comments that concern me and I see this all the time on snapchat. My boyfriend was suicidal at one point. I noticed this on my snapchat when stories were introduced. His Facebook posts always worried me. He eventually got the help he needed, I just wished I could of provided that earlier. I fully support this movement. We need to take care of each other, and this is a great way to start.

DaYonnah Dickerson  on  3/4/2015 12:40:31 PM commented:

Facebook should, introduce awareness every month for the amount of days that children in the world have either committed suicide or have thought about it. Share their stories online with either a video message or just a message in general from the Facebook command center, so everyone can see what everyone who have thought about it, or have done it been through. get their incites on why and how come children think like this.

Charles Turner  on  3/4/2015 6:10:12 AM commented:

Wow, Seriously it's 2015 Facebook been a million dollar company since when yea that's right. They just now made that decision, who bright idea was that. I hope it don't take you another 10 year to try to stop bullying on the internet but hey what do I know. Other social media shouldn't follow along because the problem is bigger than me and you. Believe it's the attention around Facebook, actor, actress, music producer. They do things for attention, if you seen a problem wouldn't you try to help to make sure it don't happen again?

C'aira T.  on  3/4/2015 5:24:16 AM commented:

Facebook helping tho prevent suicide is so fantastic. There needs to be more resources like this to help people, especially teens. It should be open to absolutely anyone, without discrimination. I used to be suicidal only about half a year ago, but certain events helped me realize that it really isn't the best choice. I believe Facebook is doing an incredibly amazing job of helping it's users. There should also be special hotlines sent depending on the user's gender selection. Ex. If the user stats they are trans then also send them a hotline for trans individuals. The same goes for other people in the LGBT community. Thank you Facebook so much for song this. Keep making it better as you go and listen to you people. Thank you so very much

Denver Bankston  on  3/3/2015 9:55:34 PM commented:

I do believe that face book if used properly can be an asset. I also believe that face book has made it where people say things about and to other people that they probably would not have said. Words do kill. It is proven daily that what someone says can cause another to take their own life. I do feel that other social medias should help, but remember there is a very fine line. Only if we could teach our peers to be careful not to cross that line

D.M  on  3/3/2015 8:14:03 PM commented:

I Believe Facebook Should Take Action And Action Is The Best Way Of Prevention Of Suicide But We Must Remember That Facebook Is Social Media And A Lot Of Other Users Of Facebook Will Still Continue Harassment And Message Threats As Cyber Bullying So I Believe Facebook Should Keep Track Of That And Delete Cyber Bullying Profiles.

Aniya B.  on  3/3/2015 5:50:00 PM commented:

I think this is a step in the right direction.

Robby Brandt  on  3/3/2015 5:33:38 PM commented:

I think what Facebook is trying to do is awesome. I have delt with suicide for many years, and being only 17 years old, I know that its not going to get alot easier. It started out when I was 12. I had been bullied for my whole life, and finaly one day I grabbed a rope. Fortunitly my best friend found me tieing it up, and she stopped me. what facebook is doing is amazing. I wish them the best of luck

Jeff K.  on  3/3/2015 5:21:36 PM commented:

I work in suicide prevention and believe that this is a great things FB is doing. I not only think that other social media organizations need to do this but I hope they follow suit fast. Many times, if not most, a quick realization that someone is in that much need can be the difference between life and death.

Kitty  on  3/3/2015 4:19:18 PM commented:

They'll just post it on their other social media site. Most teens have more than one social media site that they use. I think it's great though but I think other sites should agree to the same thing.

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