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Facebook announces new support measures for suicidal users

Facebook has begun to roll out new support for it’s users who post updates that generate concern among their online friends.

At their fifth Compassion Research Day on Wednesday, the Facebook Safety team announced the new features that will be rolling out to American Facebook users over the next couple of months and say they’re also working to improve tools for non-U.S. users.

The news came in a release from Facebook Product Manager, Rob Boyle, and Facebook Community Operations Specialist, Nicole Staubli.

“If someone on Facebook sees a direct threat of suicide, we ask that they contact their local emergency services immediately.¬†We also ask them to report any troubling content to us. We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review any report that comes in. They prioritize the most serious reports, like self-injury, and send help and resources to those in distress.”

facebook suicidal thoughts

For those people who might need help at a difficult time, Facebook have expanded the resources available through the social networking site itself; as well as encouraging them to contact a mental health professional at a specialist organisation, there are also easy options for reaching out to a friend as well as tips and advice sourced from clinical and academic partners.

There is also new support for anyone who reports a worrying post and may be concerned about their friend. This includes options to get in touch with that person directly and offer a caring message, or seek advice from a professional hotline on how to help in other ways.

We think it’s wonderful that Facebook are using their massive popularity to help connect people when it really matters and hope that leading social networks will continue to use their powers for good!

What do you think about Facebook’s latest safety improvement? Think it’s something you would use? Let us know @CybersmileHQ. For information and advice about cyberbullying on Facebook, visit our Facebook help page.