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Facebook's New Feature Furthers Suicide Prevention Effort

Facebook is using its internet dominance to help the suicide prevention effort.

The social media network announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention to develop a feature that allows users to easily report Facebook posts that “suggest its author might be considering suicide.” The person reporting the post will then have the option to contact its author, reach out to another friend for support or connect with a trained suicide hotline professional, according to the University of Washington.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 2.55.04 PM
Screenshot via Forefront Innovations in Suicide Prevention

Facebook has teams reviewing reports 24/7, according to the Facebook Safety page. If Facebook flags a reported post, a series of support screens will be launched automatically when that post’s author logs back into Facebook, the University of Washington reported.

via Facebook
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via Facebook

While Facebook has offered ways to report suicidal content before, this update will hopefully simplify and more delicately handle the process. Updates will roll out over the next few months in the U.S., according to Facebook. You can read the social network’s announcement here and watch the video below for more information on this new feature.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Want to end the stigma around mental illness? Like us on Facebook.

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