Samaritans and Facebook launch suicide prevention tool


​Partnership will allow social media users to intervene if they see troubling posts and will provide help for those in need

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19th February 2016 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A charity has joined with a social media giant to make it a safer place for those feeling suicidal.

Samaritans and Facebook have created a new Suicide Prevention Tool where people can report worrying posts and can get access to advice.

People who see people threatening to end their own life are asked to call the emergency services in the first instance.

Troubling content will be flagged to Facebook which will have a 24 hour team reviewing posts.

We’re evolving the support, resources and advice available to people who are in distress

Suicidal posts are prioritised and help options, including access to the Samaritans, are sent to those people who Facebook think are struggling to cope.

Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland said: “Social media is a great thing, it provides an outlet for many people and it’s a great source of information and support. It’s a way that we connect with our friends, a way of communication. Samaritans welcomes Facebook’s commitment to keeping their users safe in this environment.

Julie de Bailliencourt, safety policy manager at Facebook, said: “Keeping the Facebook community safe is our most important responsibility. 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.”