Popular social network Facebook has this week launched new products it says will increase support to prevent suicide and self-harm.
In a world plagued by stress, depression, terrorism and rising cost of life, violent crime and relationships break-ups, there seems to be an increase in people turning to social networks to expose their problems.
And when these problems appear to be persisting, these people resort to end their lives or inflict themselves all sorts of harm.
But Facebook believes that by stepping in, it aims to prevent these people from travelling that dangerous route.
“Today we’re updating the resources we offer to people around the world who may be experiencing self-injury or suicidal thoughts, as well as the support we offer to their concerned friends and family members,” Facebook Africa said in a statement released in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday.
The products have been developed in collaboration with mental health organisations with the input from people who have personal experience with self-injury and suicide, the organisation said.
The tools are believed to have first launched in the US with the help of Forefront, Lifeline, and Save.org (http://Save.org).
“Today, we are rolling them out around the world in collaboration with local partners and in all languages Facebook is available in.
“Now, with the help of these new tools, if someone posts something on Facebook that makes you concerned about their well-being, you can reach out to them directly.
“And you also can also report the post to us. We have teams working around the world 24/7 who review reports that come in. They prioritise the most serious reports like self-injury.
“And, as of today, the resources we send to the person who posted something concerning will include an expanded set of options. People can now choose to reach out to a friend, contact a helpline, or see tips.
“If you or someone you know is in crisis, it is important to call local emergency services right away. You can also visit our Help Centre for information about how to support yourself or a friend: https://www.Facebook.com/help/594991777257121/.”
“You can view this video, created by Save.org and Lifeline titled “From Reporting to Supporting: Using Facebook to Support Someone in Suicidal Crisis” – https://Vimeo.com/160565004.”
(Antigone Davis and Jennifer Guadagno, additional reporting and final editing by Issa Sikiti DS)
Photo courtesy of Lifeback.org