Earlier this year, Facebook partnered with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention with the goal of trying to target people who may be at risk of committing suicide based on their Facebook posts.
The feature is currently available in the United States and Canada and enables Facebook users to report any suicidal post they see posted on Facebook, whether that be a personal status or a comment. The report can either be made through the Report Suicidal Content link on Facebook or report links that can be found throughout the Facebook site. If a post is reported, the person who posted it will get an email from Facebook asking them if they feel okay. The person will later be encouraged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or have a confidential chat session with someone who works at the crisis center.
For me, this feature hits home because I witnessed real-time as a friend of mine from high school put a troubling status on Facebook, and later that night ended his life. The whole time, his friends and family members were trying to get in contact with him and calling the police, but by the time the right people saw the status, it was too late.
From just scanning my own Facebook feed, my friends and family are reacting very positively to the feature. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline targeted a website that nearly everyone frequents, likely with the hope of lowering the number of suicides per day from 100 to a much smaller number.
But if you know someone who is struggling or you think may be at risk, don’t hesitate to reach out to them or forward them the Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
What do you think about the new feature? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet at me! @NatalieWiesnet