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Facebook's Suicide Prevention Tool
By: Jessica Cherok
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In an effort to help prevent suicides, Facebook has launched a new tool for those worried about suicide among their friends.

Facebook posts that contain suicidal keywords can be flagged, which in turn triggers a message from the social media site. According to a Facebook strategist, “Often, friends and family who are the observers in this situation don't know what to do.”

"The person who flags the post will see a screen with links that allow them to message the potentially suicidal person, contact another Facebook friend for support or connect with a trained professional at a suicide helpline for guidance." 

This will help the many users who do not know what to say or do when a friend or loved on is in crisis. When it comes to suicide prevention, it is important to act quickly.

Facebook partnered with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2011; however, the system set up back then did not work very well. The new version of the suicide prevention tool is supposedly much better.

According to Facebook, “Besides encouraging them to connect with a mental health expert at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, we now also give them the option of reaching out to a friend, and provide tips and advice on how they can work through these feelings. All of these resources were created in conjunction with our clinical and academic partners.”

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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