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The Transition House, Inc.

Facebook's new mental health feature could save lives


Have you ever noticed a friend's post on Facebook that made you concerned for their well-being? Now, instead of simply reporting a post to Facebook's busy corporate team, your reported post goes directly to Facebook’s global community operations team, a group of hundreds of people around the world who monitor flagged posts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Posts that are specifically tagged as potentially self-harmful are to be expedited and reviewed more quickly by the team members. The team members who evaluate potentially suicidal content are given special training. So how exactly does this new feature save lives?This new tool is specifically aimed at preventing suicide through human connections. Reaching out to a friend who might be depressed or suicidal can be the difference between life or death. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. This staggering statistic is what prompted Facebook to take action. The initiative was developed in partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education and Forefront.

Here’s how it works... When you see a friend's post, you are able to click on the down arrow (like how you normally report a post) and select "Report post". From there, you will be taken to a window asking why you reported the post. Select, “I think it shouldn't be on Facebook”. Next, choose, “See more options”, and then "It shows someone harming themself or planning to harm themself".

Once you do this, another window will appear that gives you options on what to do. You can reach out to your friend in a private message, chat with a trained professional, reach out to a different friend for support yourself or have Facebook look into the post. Once Facebook reviews that post, they will offer resources to your friend.


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This tool is a great way to start a conversation about depression and suicide. These topics are often seen as taboo in our society, and Facebook’s creation of this feature is a step in the right direction. Shedding light on these issues can save lives and bring awareness to individuals around the world.

For more information on suicide or depression counseling in Kissimmee, contact one of our counseling centers here.

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