In a recent announcement on its official blog, Facebook released improvements to its suicide prevention tools.
As part of this update, Facebook has introduced real-time prevention tools, live chat support from crisis support organizations and streamlined reporting for suicide with assistance from artificial intelligence.
Currently, if someone posts something on Facebook that proves a cause for concern, a user can reach out to the troubled poster directly or report the post to the company, who’s in-house team reviews and prioritizes the urgency of posts.
Through these curators, the poster will be provided with numerous support options, such as reaching out to a friend or a number that they can call. These services have been available on Facebook for a decade.
In the update, however, these tools will be incorporated with Facebook Live. People watching a concerning live video will now have the option to reach out to the poster directly or report the live stream to Facebook. Following the latter, the person sharing the video will see a series of support options appear on their screen, much like the ones that have been suggested in the past.
Users will also have the ability to connect with crisis support centres over Messenger, with participating organizations including the Crisis Text Line, the National Eating Disorder Association and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Lastly, Facebook is introducing a streamlined reporting process using what its post calls “pattern recognition in posts previously reported for suicide.” This AI algorithm will make the option to report the post more prominent in certain posts.
Suicide is an ongoing and tragic epidemic among young people, with it being the second leading cause of death for 15 to 29-year-olds. If you’re in distress and need assistance, follow this link below for a number to your regional suicide hotline.