Depression and suicide are often downplayed and misunderstood in our society but they are serious matters. With social media being so prevalent in our lives, often indications that something is wrong can be gleaned by an unusual update or pattern of erratic behavior. If you sense something is wrong with one of your friends, Facebook will now allow you to do something about it.
The social network is rolling out its suicide prevention tools to everyone in the world. They have collaborated with mental heath organizations to offer better services as well as partnerships to provide support in all languages which the site offers.
If you flag a status update, the poster will get a message telling them that someone is concerned about their post. They will have the option of talking to a friend, calling a suicide helpline, get tips and support or to skip. Directly reaching out to your friend or relative is also possible, Facebook will give you suggestions about the wording you should use to resolve the situation.
The rollout of suicide prevention tools by Facebook is a welcome move. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in certain age brackets and cyber bullying is strongly related to suicidal tendencies. Considering that Facebook is the leading social network in the world, we have no doubt this tool is going to save lives.
There’s always the risk of abuse for a system like this but Facebook has a team of reviewers who make sure that serious cases are higher priority and fake submissions are scrapped.