Facebook has rolled out a system for reporting suicidal posts on its social networking site, on Tuesday.
Once the message is reported, Facebook will send an automated message to the author of the post, with a link to chat with a suicide prevention counselor and the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“One of the big goals here is to get the person in distress into the right help as soon as possible,” a Facebook spokesman told the press.
In November, eighteen-year-old Ashley Billasano took her own life after tweeting about it to over 500 followers. “That’s the story of how I came to be who I am,” the suicidal teen said. “Well, the condensed version. I’d love to hear what you have to say but I won’t be around.” And then, “Take two. I hope I get this right.”
According to Lidia Bernik, associate director of the prevention hotline said,”The science shows that people experience reductions in suicidal thinking when there is quick intervention. 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.”
“The only people who will have a really good idea of what’s going on is your friends so we’re encouraging them to speak up and giving them an easy and quick way to get help,” Wolens added.