Sometimes people don’t get along with life and feel desperate to get someone to notice that they are not doing well and need someone to talk. In these scenarios, many of them post their thoughts on Facebook and for solely this purpose; Facebook has announced updated tools that provides more resources, advice and support to people who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.
To get the job done Facebook has asked its users to report posts from friends that may be suicidal. Facebook has appointed teams working all over the world, providing services 24/7, who review these posts and offer each person help by going through a tailored plan.
After reported by a friend, the reported person will see a pop-up on Facebook saying, “A friend thinks you might be going through something difficult and asked us to look at your recent post”. After the pop-up, the person will be asked, “What would you like to do?”, following by two options, the first one is “Talk to someone”, if they select this option they will be given the options to call NSPL (National Suicide Prevention Lifetime) or chat with a helper online. The second option is, “Get tips and support”, if they choose this option they will be shown a video of someone who contemplated or attempted suicide and overcame it. After that they will be advised to do something to distract their thoughts like, go outside or be creative, etc.
There are many things online that can trigger or promote suicidal thoughts but social media sites, like Facebook, wants to help its users. Just like Facebook, Twitter also reaches out to its users to help them. As Twitter’s Support Page shows, a user can reach out to Twitter’s Trust and Safety team if they feel like a person is at risk, and the team will contact the reported user and tell them that someone cares about them and make sure that they seek help. Even Instagram and Tumblr have some built-in functions for the issue.
People who are feeling suicidal also feel being cut-off from everyone and if they are reaching out on social media, then this can be a possible way to help them by whatever means necessary.
Facebook is working with some mental health organizations like Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org and others for proper guidance and required expertise to tackle the problem and help their users as much as they can.
As Facebook says that every user is very important to them and they care about them. Facebook has stepped up to help both those experiencing the suicidal thoughts and the agitated friends and family who notice their friend’s messages and are willing to help them.
This is no doubt a very commendable work that Facebook is doing. Their efforts can surely save many who are suffering from hard times and help their friends in distress. Let’s hope all of the social media take it as an example to help out their users and come forward for those who they care about.