Facebook’s suicide prevention tools are rolling out globally so all users of its social network struggling with thoughts of self-injury or suicide can get the help they need.
The tools — developed in partnership with mental health organizations and with input from people who struggle with thoughts of self-injury — enable Facebook users to report suicidal posts. Members who flag such posts can now also be connected with a trained professional at a suicide hotline who will offer advice on how to help a friend in distress.
“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,” Facebook global head of safety Antigone Davis and researcher Jennifer Guadagno said in a blog post. “We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in. They prioritize the most serious reports like self-injury.”
After a person is reported as being suicidal, the next time the person logs on to Facebook, he or she will receive a message offering resources for connection with a mental health expert. Facebook will also provide tips and advice on how that person can work through dark feelings and give the person the option of reaching out to a friend.
Facebook’s Help Center also offers information about how to support one’s self or a friend here.
The tools first launched in the U.S. in February 2015 with the help of Forefront, Lifeline and Save.org. Now the tools are rolling out worldwide in all languages Facebook is available in.