Facebook Launches New Suicide Prevention Tools in India
Today Facebook in collaboration with local partners AASRA and Live Love Laugh Foundation, rolled out the new suicide prevention feature across India to help users who feel suicidal. Social media has grown leaps and bounds over the years and is very popular amongst the younger generation. People like to keep their status updated and it has been noticed that the status at times determines the mood or the state of mind an individual is going through. According to mental health experts, people having their status updates like “ I am Done” , “There is no way out”, “Death is Beautiful” could be potentially suicidal.
The Facebook suicide prevention tool is available in English and Hindi and will organisation’s reach out to individuals who have put out posts related to depression and suicide. Apart from this Facebook users can also report similar posts to the social network. Facebook has a team assigned to work around the clock and would review the reports that pour in.
Anyone who finds posts that make them concerned about the well-being of the person, they can reach out to them directly, and discreetly, on Facebook and also ‘report’ the post.
Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director, Facebook India, South & Central Asia, said, “Often, friends and family who are the observers in these types of situations don’t know what to do. They’re concerned, but they’re worried about saying the wrong thing or somehow making it worse. Socially, mental illness and thoughts about suicide are just not something we talk about. Facebook is a place where people connect and share, and one of the things we have learnt from the mental health partners and academics we have worked with on this issue is that being connected is a protective factor in suicide prevention. We care deeply about the safety and well-being of the 148 million people in India who use Facebook to connect with the people who matter to them and recognise there’s an opportunity with these tools and resources to connect someone who is struggling with a person they already have a relationship with.”
This feature had been launched in the US in early 2015, and later in Australia, New Zealand and the UK in the same year. It works on desktops as well as the mobile.