Today, Facebook launched a major update aimed at both helping kids and adults who struggle with mental illness and reducing the number of suicides around the world — the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds. Why should you take note? Because statistics show that men are 3.5 times more likely to take their own lives; and they account for 79 percent of all suicides. Those are stats that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Currently, if someone puts up a post on Facebook that makes you concerned about their well-being, you can report it 24/7 to a special team. That team would then review the report and connect with the individual to offer support services. The new features, however, include integrated suicide-prevention tools aimed at helping people in real-time via Facebook Live, thus combating the tragic trend of individuals broadcasting suicides.
In addition, Facebook has added live chat support (through Messenger) with mental health and crisis organizations like Save.org, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Forefront, and Crisis Text Line. And they’ve updated and streamlined the system for reporting suicide by integrating the assistance of artificial intelligence.
While your kid may still be too young to even be on Facebook, let alone depressed and on Facebook, their mental health is of the utmost importance. And concerns about it can come up sooner than you think. At the end of the day, your family’s safety is your ultimate priority. If Facebook is offering more tools to help you do that, take them up on it.