Facebook rolls out its suicide prevention tools to users worldwide

15 Jun 2016

Facebook has expanded its suicide prevention tools and, now, users around the world will be able to use them to support friends who they believe are at risk for self-harm or suicide.

The tools were originally released to a limited number of English-language users in the US last year, but as of now, they will be available globally in every language Facebook is available in.

The update – on desktop, mobile and the app – will be a welcome addition to the social media site in a world where, more and more, all of our interactions are moving online.

Future Human

As well as the global expansion, the new rollout features updates to the existing service, including an expanded set of options for the at-risk user, from reaching out to a friend to contacting helplines.

Facebook suicide prevention tool on mobile

Facebook’s updates to the suicide prevention tools now available globally. Image via Facebook


Those concerned about friends will now be able to flag a post from the drop-down menu, from where they will be able to choose from several options, including reaching out to the friend, seeking help from a mutual friend, or asking Facebook to intervene.

According to an announcement made yesterday by the company’s global head of safety, Antigone Davis, and researcher Jennifer Guadagno: “We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in. They prioritise the most serious reports, like self-injury.”

The Facebook team, however, does recommend that, if you believe it to be an urgent case, you should call 999 immediately.

The suicide prevention initiative was supported by Forefront, Lifeline and Save.org when it initially launched in the US, and Facebook continues to partner with suicide prevention and mental health organisations in different countries.

If you are concerned about a friend’s behaviour on the social media site, you can also reach out to Facebook via its Help Centre.

Main image via downloadsource.fr/Flickr

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic