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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Suicide Prevention Resources on Facebook

Suicide Prevention Resources on Facebook

17 September 2013 at 22:30
Joe Sullivan is Facebook’s Chief Security Officer and is a Member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Leadership team.

At Facebook, where our mission is to help make the world more open and connected, we are committed to decreasing suicide globally by connecting people in need with the resources and people who can help them best.  As the place where people share with their real-life friends, we have a unique opportunity to give people the tools to respond to calls for help.

The World Health Organization reports that every year almost one million people die from suicide1.   That is tragic.  And the impact goes much further—studies show that each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people2.  That means that globally, the impact of suicide is felt deeply by many millions of people each year.

Today we are sharing an Infographic that shows how people can quickly get suicide prevention resources and/or submit a report to Facebook about their distressed friend.  The three ways a person can get resources on Facebook desktop are:

-      Clicking “Report” on the upper-right corner of a post:  in addition to resources and the option to submit a report, we also provide a suggested Facebook message for a person to send directly to their friend letting them know their concern.

-      Searching “Suicide” in the search bar.

-      Going to the Facebook Help Center and typing “suicide.”

On mobile, people can also report suicidal content in a post directly from their phone.

In order to ensure we reach more people with this important information, we will be running a public service announcement across Facebook directing people to the Infographic throughout the rest of suicide prevention month.

We have also partnered with 33 suicide prevention organizations across the world.  In addition to providing direct support through channels like phone, email, chat or SMS, many have Facebook Pages where people can get additional information.  For example, SADAG has frequent Q&As with psychologists on their Facebook Page. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline educates people about suicide prevention on their Facebook Page by awarding “badges” to people who learn a new tip.  Check out and “Like” your local suicide prevention organization’s Facebook Page to get additional information.  These organizations and the dedicated employees and volunteers who help power them are the real inspirational leaders in the fight to prevent suicide.

If you would like more information about how to identify suicide-warning signs, please read a blog post we published last week authored by Dr. Dan Reidenberg. In addition to doing extensive patient work and holding leadership positions on suicide prevention organizations globally, Dr. Dan is also a recognized expert in advising technology companies on implementing suicide prevention best practices.

Please join me, in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Month, and take a couple minutes today to download and read the Infographic about how you can get suicide prevention resources on Facebook and together we can connect those in need with the resources to best help them.

- Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer, Facebook


(1) World Health Organization

(2) American Association of Suicidology 2010 data 
(3) Aasra

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