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Facebook Suicide Prevention Tools Rolled Out in the UK

Telegraph
Facebook have already released this fantastic tool in both the USA and Australia and now it has been released in the UK. It allows users to report a worrying post if they are afraid the person is going to attempt suicide, or, I assume, you think they're at risk of self harming.

The tool is useful because with social media you no longer have to leave a paper note if you're going to attempt suicide. A message set on social media can be a wider goodbye and fortunately, if the person does want help but doesn't know where to turn, it means someone can stop them more easily. I've seen messages that warn of suicide popping up on social media before, and I've seen messages were someone slowly seeps deeper and deeper into despair or nothingness that suggests they might try something soon and it's terrifying to be on either side of that message.

A tool like this is important, especially in a country like the UK where we believe in having a stiff upper lip, in not talking about our problems like this because it's just not done and eventually messing ourselves up because of it. The suicide prevention tool means one message can mean someone finally realises what's going on and you can get help, or, if you're serious about it then it means that someone can come stop you whether you want them to or not.

The only problem is that the tool only really works the next time they go on Facebook. The report system does encourage you to call the authorities or a helpline and it also gives you the option to message the person who posted the message so you can try and help them yourself. The issue there is that it can be a little slow, so Facebook perhaps need to work on the message automatically going out to the authorities when received, unless the person is logged in on Facebook at that time and is able to do something that proves they're safe. If they're sad and posted it then are just hanging around Facebook doing nothing, it can save someone a night or day of panic, as they desperately try and find out if someone is okay when they can't physically check on them.

The tool is basically just a reporting feature. A box will open up in the same window so you don't need to link them to evidence. The person will then be sent a message seeing if they are okay and will give them the option to ignore, talk to someone or get tips and support. This might mean that no one feels forced to do anything and is completely private so no one will know what they choose to do. The tool is supposed to have some new features but for now we only know that the version the UK is getting is the same as the Australian version. Hopefully this tool will help many people in the UK and be released everywhere soon.



Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @RosinaAtSMF


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Facebook Suicide Prevention Tools Rolled Out in the UK Reviewed by Rosina Brooker on Friday, February 19, 2016 Rating: 5

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