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Suicide prevention: Facebook wants to offer better support

Suicide prevention: Facebook wants to offer better support


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Network expands support offer for suicidal people
More than a billion people worldwide are currently active on Facebook every day. However, user contributions are not always cheerful and amusing. Many also use the platform to get rid of negative thoughts and to report depression and despair. In order to be able to better help people at risk of suicide, Facebook now wants to expand its offer and offer first aid with a “suicide button”.

More than 1.6 billion users a month
According to its own statements, Facebook currently has more than one billion active users a day, and the popular network reaches a total of 1.65 billion people worldwide every month. The published statements, pictures and videos are often funny and entertaining - but just as often, users also post sad and thoughtful articles that suggest a personal crisis. In order to better support those affected, the company has developed a new tool that was launched on Tuesday together with local partners in all languages ​​available on Facebook worldwide.

Noticeable contributions can be forwarded
So far, contact numbers of pastoral care organizations have appeared on the display when user behavior on Facebook has given indications of a possible intention to commit suicide. Now, however, the offer for suicide prevention is being expanded further, according to the company. The aim is therefore to expand "the resources for people with self-harm and suicidal thoughts" as well as the support of worried friends and family members worldwide. Facebook had developed the new application in collaboration with health organizations and with the support of formerly affected people and initially presented it in the USA. The functions have been available worldwide since Tuesday.

Direct contact to help centers
The new tool should make it possible for Facebook friends to report when someone has published or shared a worrying post. The network would then check the information immediately and contact the user if support was needed. “Our teams process incoming reports around the clock around the world. They prioritize the reports, give priority to the most serious ones, such as self-harm, and then offer those affected the appropriate help and resources, ”said the company. This can e.g. choose whether to contact a friend or get professional help e.g. from the telephone counseling service. The contacts are then made directly via Facebook. (No)

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