Social media network, Facebook has created a more personal yet virtual relationship platform with online friends who express thoughts, feelings and emotions through their posts.
When reports of cyber bullying and impersonation became rife, the networking site made it possible for users to report inappropriate behaviour and phony accounts for the administrators to take immediate action.
On Wednesday, Facebook launched another tool developed in collaboration with mental health organisations to help people experiencing self-injury or suicidal thoughts and also to offer support to their friends.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, it is important to call local emergency services right away. You can also visit our Help Centre for information about how to support yourself or a friend.
From reporting to supporting, as they term it, if a friend on facebook posts something that questions their well-being, you have the option of reaching out to them directly to support them or to report their post to Facebook which has a team available 24/7 to give support.
To reach out to the friend directly, Facebook gives the friend making the report text options to send to the suicidal person.
To reach out privately, the friend has the options of reaching out to a mutual friend to support, connecting to an expert on the subject, or asking Facebook to look at the worrisome post which will be reviewed and resources will be offered to the suicidal friend.
The friend in need gets a message from the Facebook team which then engages the person through support options including reaching out to another friend, contacting a support service and getting tips and support offering suggestions on how to help themselves.
The friend who reported the post has the option of getting updates on the suicidal friend.
“If you or someone you know is in crisis, it is important to call local emergency services right away. You can also visit our Help Centre for information about how to support yourself or a friend: Facebook.com/help/594991777257121,” Facebook advised.