Facebook Is Launching A New Suicide Prevention Tool

By : Jamie Roberts |


Paul SakumaPA Facebook Is Launching A New Suicide Prevention ToolPaul Sakuma/PA

Facebook is launching a set of tools which will let users notify the company if a friend exhibits worrying behaviour while on the site.

The tools will be implemented in the UK after a successful trial in Australia and the U.S.

It was created with the help of the Samaritans, and allows users to both report content to Facebook and reach out to a friend if they seem to be in serious distress.

Ben MargotAP Facebook Is Launching A New Suicide Prevention ToolBen Margot/AP

According to Wired UK, when you report the worrying content the person who posted it gets a notification asking if they’d like to talk confidentially on the phone or via a chat service, or if they’d prefer to get help from a friend instead.

They’ll also be given tips on how to deal with thoughts of self-harm and suicide, and any explicit threats of suicide will be taken more seriously – the person posting them will be given the number for the emergency services.

Julie De Baillencourt, Head of Safety at Facebook, said:

We worked with organisations including Samaritans to develop these tools, and one of the first things they told us was how much connecting with people who care can help those who are struggling to cope – whether offline or online.

People use Facebook to connect with friends and family, and that’s why we’re evolving the support, resources and advice available to people who are in distress and their concerned friends and family members.

What a brilliant initiative, well done Facebook!