|Image from SAMHSA Blog.|
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Facebook have partnered together on an innovative and life-saving project: fighting the suicide epidemic through collaboration and early intervention.
As part of a new service, the social networking site will enable Facebook users in the United States and Canada to report suicidal comments posted by their friends on the site. Facebook will then send the user a rapid-response email with a direct link to an online crisis worker and the telephone number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Here's how U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin described the new partnership today on the SAMHSA blog:
"Facebook is an important part of that partnership, and I’m excited about the new initiative to augment its response to potentially suicidal members by offering the opportunity for a private chat with a trained crisis representative from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline in addition to providing the Lifeline’s phone number. This service will be available to people who use Facebook in the United States and Canada. The new service enables Facebook users to report a suicidal comment they see posted by a friend to Facebook using either the Report Suicidal Content link or the report links found throughout the site. The person who posted the suicidal comment will then immediately receive an e-mail from Facebook encouraging them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or to click on a link to begin a confidential chat session with a crisis worker."
Ada S. McKinley applauds both SAMHSA and Facebook for working together to address such a critical issue that effects thousands of Americans each year. What a wonderful way to harness the power of social networking for social good.