Facebook unveiled a brand new feature it’s adding to its massive social network in order to help out some of its users who might experience a special kind of problem. Specifically, Facebook has created tools to provide more resources to people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, as well as to their friends and family members who might spot such problems.
“We worked with mental health organizations Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org and others on these updates, in addition to consulting with people who had lived experience with self-injury or suicide,” the company wrote.
The social network is basically asking users to report to a special Facebook team any troubling content that might indicate someone is having suicidal thoughts. The company says it has teams around the world working 24/7 to review all the reports that come in. These teams assess reports and can send help to those cases that need it. The company says that all the resources that were created for the project have been developed in conjunction with clinical and academic partners.
In addition to directly contacting the person believed to be having suicidal thoughts and providing help, Facebook will also let the person who flags troubling content item call or message the distressed friend, call other friends, or talk to a trained professional and/or suicide hotline.
Initially, these tools will be available to U.S. Facebook users and will roll out in the next couple of months, with Facebook also developing such tools for users outside of the U.S.
Images below show what Facebook’s anti-suicide efforts will look like once they’re rolled out.