Facebook Rolls Out Updated Suicide Prevention Tools For All Users

Facebook Rolls Out Updated Suicide Prevention Tools For All Users

Facebook has rolled out its suicide prevention tools internationally, including in India. The tools were made presented in the US last year in partnership with Lifeline, Forefront, and Save.org. In India, the tools have been rolled out in collaboration with AASRA and Deepika Padukone's The Live Love Laugh Foundation. 

The purpose is to make it easier for people to reach out to friends who they consider may be either suicidal, or at risk of self-harming. The tools have been established in conjunction with people with experience of suicide and self-harm, as well as mental health donations. In addition to giving Facebook users the chance to reach out to those they may be worried about, Facebook is also provided that a round-the-clock worldwide team to whom concerns can be voiced.

"We're updating the resources we offer to people around the world who may be experiencing self-injury or suicidal thoughts, as well as the support we offer to their concerned friends and family members," posted Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety and Jennifer Guadagno, Researcher at Facebook, on Tuesday.

"We are rolling them out around the world in collaboration with local partners and in all languages Facebook is available in," they added.

With the help of these new tools, if somebody posts something on Facebook that makes you afraid about their well-being, you can reach out to them directly and you can also report the post to Facebook.

The tool works much like a regular button that allow user report posts, but you can choose to let Facebook reach out to that friend and offer a helpline or supportive materials to guide them through their difficult time.

Earlier, this tool was accessible to some English-speaking users but will now roll out globally. Facebook declares it has a team to monitor flagged posts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In a declaration, Facebook said its suicide prevention resources will be available in all languages maintained by the platform. The company’s researcher Jennifer Guadagno and global head of safety Antigone Davis wrote that the tools were “developed in collaboration with mental health organizations and with input from people who have personal experience with self-injury and suicide.”

Facebook’s suicide prevention tools may support save lives—or at least raise alertness of an important issue. Increasing rates of suicide around the world means that it has become public health disaster in many countries. In the U.S., suicide rates are at their highest in three decades, mainly among men of all ages and women aged 45 to 64.

However, The Company has to balance suicide prevention with the confidentiality concerns of its 1.65 billion monthly active users—particularly since Facebook posts are already seen as a treasure trove of research data by many psychologists. Facebook itself was forced to say sorry in July 2014 for conducting psychological experiments on users. 

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