- via Time Magazine
Facebook is making it easier for people who express suicidal thoughts on the social networking site to get help.
A program launching Tuesday enables users to instantly connect with a crisis counselor through Facebook’s “chat” messaging system.
The service is the latest tool from Facebook aimed at improving safety on its site, which has more than 800 million users. Earlier this year, Facebook announced changes to how users report bullying, offensive content and fake profiles.
“One of the big goals here is to get the person in distress into the right help as soon as possible,” Fred Wolens, public policy manager at Facebook, told The Associated Press.
Google and Yahoo have long provided the phone number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as the first result when someone searches for “suicide” using their sites. Through email, Facebook also directed users to the hotline or encouraged friends to call law enforcement if they perceived someone was about to do harm.
The new service goes a step further by enabling an instant chat session that experts say can make all the difference with someone seeking help.
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