Free Press Journal

Facebook ties up with Samaritans to prevent suicides


People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with a Facebook logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

London, Ahead of the World Suicide Prevention Day which falls on September 10, social networking giant Facebook has joined hands with support service Samaritans to launch a series of suicide prevention tools.

Facebook will rely on its users to flag posts from friends or family which may be indicative of suicidal emotions or tendencies.

“Posts of concern are then prioritised by Facebook moderators who can contact the relevant individual with help options and resources developed in association with Samaritans,” Irish Times reported on Tuesday.

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The tools also prompt an option of reaching out to a friend or contacting a Samaritans volunteer.

“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,” Julie de Bailliencourt, Facebook’s European safety policy manager, was quoted as saying.

Surrey-based Samaritans provides emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts.