Facebook Suicide Prevention Tool

Facebook has a new tool to help prevent suicides.  Facebook is teaming up with The National Suicide Prevention Center which has a Lifeline Call Center in Canandaigua.

 The new tool allows people to report suicidal comments posted by friends.  "I think this is a really important experiment as how we can use social media in ways that meet the needs of a whole new generation of people who have a different way of communicating ," said Dr. Yeates Conwell,  Co-Director of The Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at The University of Rochester.  Conwell says the call center in Canandaigua will be fielding calls.  Nearly 100 people in the U.S. die everyday from suicide. 

 To file a report you click the "X" to the right of the story.   Then, choose "report story or spam."   When you are asked what the story is about click, "violence or harmful behavior."  From the drop-down menu you will see "suicidal content."  The friend will immediately be sent an e-mail urging them to call a hotline or click on a link to start a chat session with a crisis counselor.   There have been several high profile cases where suicidal messages were posted on Facebook.   Buffalo teenager Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide after blogging about being bullied and  posting messages on social networking sites Tumblr & Formspring.  On Facebook Rodemeyer wrote: "Don't Forget Me When I Come Crying to Heaven's Door." 

 All reporting on the site is anonymous. "If we can offer people a variety of options, things they are comfortable with, then I think we're doing the right thing," said Dr. Conwell.   Experts say if you feel the person is in imminent danger you should call police first. 

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