Facebook launches new 'suicide alert' system
At beautyheaven, we’re passionate about encouraging the conversation surrounding depression and anxiety, but one of the problems many of us still encounter is identifying when people are suffering from mental health issues in the first place.
But now, Facebook’s set to help by implementing a ‘suicide alert’ system that’ll identify users with suicidal thoughts – and hopefully, inspire them to seek help.
So how will it work? Well, the new feature will encourage Facebook friends of sufferers to raise the alarm by submitting posts they identify as worrying for review.
Posts will then be assessed according to whether they actually indicate genuine suicidal feelings, with Facebook notifying these users that a friend has tried to help and recommending various suicide prevention organisations where they can seek support.
Reportedly working with mental health organisations such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org and more, the prevention-oriented service is all about identifying vulnerable social media users at a critical, potentially life-saving stage.
To be perfectly honest, when I first got wind of the new venture, I wondered whether Facebook had the resources to implement it effectively. But with a dedicated the team of reviewers set to evaluate submissions worldwide, 24/7, it seems there will always be someone on hand to deal with potential issues as they arise.
Personally, I think it’s brilliant that Facebook is using its enormous reach and influence to address a social issue that’s a bit more pressing than oh, say, how to get the best selfie.
In fact, I’d argue that if even if just a single person is saved from harm as a result, it’s a project worth pursuing.
What do you think of Facebook’s upcoming suicide alert system? Would you use it to seek support for your friends, or do you prefer to address your peers in person?
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