It's safe to say we've all seen at least one Facebook post from a friend who is going through a hard time that made us pause, and maybe even ask if the person was OK.
Over the next few weeks,access to a new tool it hopes, and frankly I hope as well, will make a difference in someone's life.
Once you have access to the tool you can flag a post as troubling, after which a dedicated team at Facebook will review the post and reach out to the individual. As the person who reported the post, you're also given suggestions on how to best help a person in need or receive support for the emotional distress of encountering a friend or loved one who is suicidal.
The process of flagging a post is simple, taking only a few taps on your smartphone's screen. It's so simple, actually, there's no excuse for not using it when it's warranted.
- You start by flagging a post by clicking or tapping on the arrow in the top-right corner of the post.
- Select "I think it shouldn't be on Facebook."
- Select "It's hurtful, threatening or suicidal."
- Select "I think they might hurt themselves."
Read through the "What You Can Do" screen, which offers advice on how you can help a friend in need. At the bottom of this screen is the option to request Facebook look at the post. Alternatively, you can send a message to the friend, or a mutual friend in an effort to help the person. There's even the option of chatting with a trained helper for advice on how best to move forward.
You can click through the gallery below to see exactly how each step looks using Facebook's website.
Facebook has a team of individuals working around-the-clock, monitoring and following up on these requests. After reviewing the post, the team will reach out to the person and offer advice on getting help.
It should go without saying, but if you see a post where someone is directly threatening suicide you shouldn't use Facebook's new tool. You should immediately pick up your phone and alert the proper authorities to get the individual some help.