Facebook launches suicide-prevention efforts

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Facebook launches suicide-prevention efforts

People share a large portion of their life on Facebook. In fact, many customers clock in over one hour every day on the social network. People who are a danger to themselves may now be documented by buddies and family to the social network. In partnership with suicide prevention agencies, instant chat help will be provided. People really need this help but do not always know where to get it.

Surge in suicidal shares

All news feeds will have a new feature added to them on Facebook. Sometimes, you see a friend’s status and are worried they are going to do harm to themselves or to others. This is something you are able to “report” to Facebook directly. Then Facebook will send that individual a message offering a phone call or chat to get help. The help is only offered if the post is manually reported. No algorithm would be able to accurately sort through the billions of posts added each day.

Helping as quickly as possible

The chat-support function built into Facebook is a relatively new feature, run by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“The science shows that people experience reductions in suicidal thinking when there is quick intervention,” said Lidia Bernik, associate director of Lifeline. “We’ve heard from many people who say they want to talk to someone but don’t want to call. Instant message is perfect for that.”

On-call crisis center workers will be there 24 hours a day to hear from people that need help.

Personal data listed on Facebook

Facebook is currently a place where people put all of their difficulties. It is a place people feel comfy sharing at. Facebook is considered a public forum, which means that the info posted to Facebook is not covered under the HIPAA medical privacy law. Businesses trying to find out whether or not a person is employable can find that info on Facebook. This fact is not stopping any person from posting. Individuals are eager to post future plans as well as information about their mental state.

Sources

PC Mag: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2397551,00.asp

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2011-12-13/facebook-suicide-prev...

Today’s THV: http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/185004/288/Bart-Heller-murder-suic...

NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/12/13/143652652/facebook-aims-to-pr...