Facebook links with Samaritans

Social networking site Facebook has come up with a feature that allows user to sound the alert about their friends who they believe could be suicidal. The feature has been produced in conjunction with the charity The Samaritans.

Apparently, this is result of a number of cases on Facebook where there have been users that have suggested that they are suicidal, in such case, Simone Black informed where 1,048 friends that she intended to take an overdose, but sadly, nobody raised the alarm until it was too late.

This new page on Facebook will allow all thirty million UK based Facebook users to submit a report by simply clicking on a link, once on this page they can pass on the name and details of the person concerned. Once the report has been submitted, Facebook will pass the details on to the Samaritans and the Police if necessary.

The charity’s chief executive, Catherine Johnstone, said: “Through the popularity of Facebook, we are harnessing the power of friendship so people can get help. As a friend, you are better placed to know whether someone close to you is struggling to cope or even feeling suicidal. We want to remind people that if a friend says that life isn’t worth living, they should always be taken seriously. Facebook is a part of daily life for so many of us and we must make sure that people online have support when they need it.”

Facebook’s director of policy for Europe, Richard Allan, added: “We’re pleased to welcome the expertise of a great partner in Samaritans. They will help to make our robust reporting system even more effective, as friends are encouraged to look out for one another on Facebook as they do in the real world. This supplements the number of ways to get help already available on Facebook, from our help centre to the reporting tools we offer.”

Source [Guardian]