Popular social media site Facebook has launched a platform to help its distressed users who may be experiencing self-injury or suicidal thoughts.
In a statement issued by Global Head of Safety MS Antigone Davis and Researcher Ms Jennifer Guadagno, Facebook said that it was updating the resources on offer to helped distressed people around the world, ”as well as the support we offer to their concerned friends and family members.”
The service was developed in collaboration with mental health organisations and input from people who have personal experience with self-injury and suicide. The tools were first launched in the US with the help of Forefront, Lifeline, and Save.org and will now be available across the world.
ROLLED OUT AROUND THE WORLD
“Today, we are rolling them out around the world in collaboration with local partners and in all languages Facebook is available in. 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,” said the statement.
Facebook said that they had established teams working round the clock in different parts of the world whose task is to review reports that come in.
“The teams prioritise the most serious reports like self-injury where we also engage the informer by helping them intervene in a professional way to negotiate with the affected person.
“And, as of today, the resources we send to the person who posted something concerning will include an expanded set of options. People can now choose to reach out to a friend, contact a helpline, or see tips.”
It also emphasised that an informer who has identified someone in distress must inform local emergency services and also visit the Facebook help centre for further advice about how to support a friend.
It added that Facebook would also take charge of the situation and try to engage the victim in a bid to convince them to abandon their planned suicide or self harm.
Facebook has also sanctioned and uploaded a video created by Save.org and Lifeline titled “From Reporting to Supporting: Using Facebook to Support Someone in Suicidal Crisis” which it says helps one understand the situation a victim is in and gives the victim and their immediate friends and relatives useful tips on how to negotiate with a hurting person.
Facebook users undergoing emotional turmoil have been known to ‘pour’ out their feelings on Facebook while chatting with friends or on their walls with some giving graphic details on how they plan to harm themselves or commit suicide.