Facebook is aiming to prevent people from committing suicide by connecting users to counselors through chat. The new Facebook suicide prevention service launched today and it lets friends alert Facebook when users express suicidal thoughts on their accounts.
If your friend posts a note about suicide, you can report it to Facebook by clicking a link next to the comment. Facebook will then send an e-mail to the comment’s author that directs them to a telephone hotline or a link where they can start a confidential chat. This program is called Lifeline.
I commend Facebook for this initiative because suicide is a major problem and causes a lot of pain not only to the individual, but to their family and friends. Facebook launched a suite of tools this past March to crack down on cyber-bullying as well. Facebook previously addressed suicide in November when they launched an app through a partnership with SafetyWeb.com.