US suicides at their highest level in 30 years; Facebook tries to help
Facebook is implementing a new feature that allows people to flag their friends’ posts that appear suicidal. Once highlighted, the post is then sent to a special team for review. The Facebook-employed task force will then communicate with the at-risk person to deter any self-inflicted harm.
Suicide rates are at the highest level they have been in over 30 years. A study conducted by Pew Research shows that 72 percent of American internet-users, and 62 percent of the entire adult population, use Facebook. The social media company is using its societal pervasiveness to attempt to curb this growing tendency.
Facebook product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch, said in a statement, “People really want to help, but often they just don’t know what to say, what to do or how to help their friends.” That is why Facebook will also be providing identified people with resources like suicide prevention hotlines and literature. Facebook has consulted with people who have survived suicide attempts as well as mental health organizations, like NowMattersNow.org, Save.org and Forefront.org, to gain any insights on the optimal policies.
This article continues at [The Stream] Facebook’s New Flagging Tool Looks to Curb Huge Increase in Suicide Rate