Facebook launches suicide prevention measures

"More resources, advice and support"

Facebook has launched a new initiative designed to tackle suicide prevention in Australia.

Promising "more resources, advice and support for people who may be going through a difficult time," Facebook is making a range of tools available to those who might be experiencing mental health concerns along with their friends.

If someone posts something on the social network that's of concern, Facebook will now allow that person's friends to refer the post to a 24-hour support team.

Facebook's team will then prioritise reports that are deemed most serious – generally those dealing with issues like self-harm and suicide – and will "send help and resources to those in distress."

Help is at hand

These resources will include a "Suicide Prevention Flow," which will present users with a series of graphics and pages that are designed to calm and sooth the user, while providing phone, email or message links to talk to someone if needed.

Concerned friends will also be assisted in providing support for those of concern via pre-populated suggestion text designed to coax the person in question into seeking help.

The initiative was developed in the US by mental health organisations Forefront Health, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org and in Australia with Beyond Blue and headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

Facebook claims the assistance it provides will be age appropriate, directing users to organisations based on their particular age bracket.