NEW DELHI: In a bid to curb self-injury and suicide episodes in India, social
networking giant Facebook on Wednesday rolled out updated suicide
prevention tools in collaboration with local partners in English and
The updated tools, also available to all 1.65 billion
Facebook monthly active users now, were unveiled with help from
non-profit organisations AASRA and The Live Love Laugh Foundation.
care deeply about the safety and well-being of the 148 million people
in India who use Facebook to connect with the people who matter to them
and recognise. There's an opportunity with these tools and resources to
connect someone who is struggling with a person they already have a
relationship with,” said Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director at Facebook
India (South and Central Asia) in a statement.
“Facebook is a
place where people connect and share, and one of the things we have
learnt from the mental health partners and academics we have worked with
on this issue, is that being connected is a protective factor in
suicide prevention,” Das added.
Developed in collaboration with
mental health organisations and with inputs from people who have
personal experience with self-injury and suicide, these tools were first
launched in the US with the help of organisations like Forefront,
Lifeline and Save.org.
“The tools Facebook are rolling out aim
both at people who are expressing suicidal thoughts and also guide
concerned friends or family members to resources and alternatives and
appropriate interventions,” said Anna Chandy, Chairperson-Trustees, The
Live Love Laugh Foundation.
With the help of these new tools, if
someone posts something on Facebook that makes you concerned about their
well being, you can reach out to them directly and you can also report
the post to Facebook.
In a latest incident in Gurgaon, Haryana
in India, a 32-year-old man was saved by his friends and the police
after he posted pictures of a suicide bid on Facebook.
Malik, who works in a multinational company, tried to commit suicide by
cutting his wrist and uploaded the pictures of a bleeding hand on the
social networking site Facebook.
His friends who saw the post
came to his rescue and informed the police immediately. Malik was rushed
to a private hospital where doctors said his condition was stable.
has been working with Facebook for several years to help people who are
having suicidal thoughts. Facebook's new tool is another step forward
in helping to prevent suicide,” noted Johnson Thomas, Director, AASRA.
to Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety and Jennifer Guadagno,
Researcher, at Facebook, “We have teams working around the world, 24/7,
who review reports that come in. They prioritize the most serious
reports like self-injury.”
“We're updating the resources we offer
to people around the world who may be experiencing self-injury or
suicidal thoughts, as well as the support we offer to their concerned
friends and family members,” they posted.
According to Deepika
Padukone, Founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, the rate of suicide
among the youth in India is one of the highest in the world.
are happy to partner with Facebook in this suicide prevention
initiative. It is especially important to reach out to young people out
there who are feeling depressed and encourage them to reach out for
help,” Padukone said.
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