Facebook working to help suicidal users - AmericaNowNews.com

Facebook helping suicidal users

At only 18 years old, Matthew Weeks had enough. For reasons his parents don't even know, Matthew took his own life - leaving his parents and two brothers with a pain that will never go away.

It's now been five years since Matthew died. His mother Cindi says looking back, the signs were there. "Went through cycles where he'd withdraw, he didn't want to go places, would stay in his room a lot.  Grades went way down."

She never even thought about suicide, and their family isn't alone. Last year in Alabama, 676 people committed suicide - some of those suicides were a result of bullying. In particular, bullying on Facebook. And that's why Facebook is partnering with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

So - how does this work? 

Lets say you see a post on a friend's wall that concerns you. If you think they're in danger, you can click on the "Report/Mark as Spam" option. Then you'll be given the option to undo or report it as abusive.  You could then click to report it, then select "violent harmful behavior", then "suicidal content". Facebook would then be alerted, and a counselor with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline would begin a chat.

It's not known if this would have helped Matthew Weeks, but his mom does know it couldn't have hurt. She says, "A person who is suicidal a lot of the times will not reach out to a counselor. A lot of times it has to be a friend or family that gets them to counseling."

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.
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