In an effort to reach out to mentally troubled or suicidal individuals, Facebook extended its suicide prevention tools to India on June 14. The social networking giant has tied up with two local NGOs that will work in association with Facebook to prevent suicidal deaths and self-inflicted injuries in the country.
A large majority of individuals use social platforms such as Facebook to speak their mind, or subtly connect with their friends with cryptic posts on a daily basis. Such posts that demonstrate that an individual may be troubled or possibly suicidal, help identify the person in question so they can be reached out to and the necessary aid can be extended.
Although the feature to report suicidal posts was available on Facebook since 2011, one would have to find the said ‘Suicide Prevention page’ and post a screenshot or image of the post in question.
The new efforts don’t just come with an integrated option to report such posts, but also provides local extensions that are affiliated to the cause, so the person under threat can be dealt with on a personal basis if necessary.
Facebook says, it has teams working 24/7 to identify such posts and prioritize them in order to importance. When they feel that a person is in need of personal counseling, NGOs such as AASRA and the Live Love Laugh Foundation will be intimated who will step in and intervene.
Apart from being able to report suicidal posts and being able to discreetly reach out to the person in question, Facebook has also designed a knowledge repository on useful tips for such a situation. Both the reporting tools as well as the safety knowledge base will be made available in English as well as Hindi.
Facebook began its efforts to curb suicidal tendencies among its 1.65 billion users first in 2015 in the USA and expanded its outreach to Australia, New Zealand as well as the UK later the same year.