Facebook's Latest Mission: Prevent Suicides

Site will urge users who post distressing comments to get help
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2012 1:20 PM CDT
A Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of an iPad, Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/James H. Collins)

(Newser) – Concerned about one of your Facebook friends? The social networking site will soon allow you to report any suicidal comments you see, and Facebook will follow up by sending the user an email with the number of a suicide prevention hotline and instructions on how to chat with a counselor online confidentially. The new feature is part of a nationwide suicide prevention push, which is aimed especially at US military veterans and young people, Reuters reports.

"All too often, people in crisis do not know how—or who—to ask for help," a Facebook exec says in a statement. "We have a unique opportunity to provide the right resources to our users in distress, when and where they need them most." Facebook is just one part of the new plan, which also involves public service announcements and $55.6 million to fund grants for suicide prevention programs.

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