Facebook suicide prevention tools

Facebook announced in a blog post yesterday that it would be rolling out new tools aimed at helping friends get help for friends they fear might be contemplating suicide. Like most things Facebook - or most things generally, I guess - I was skeptical at first, but it didn’t take long for the idea to grow on me.

While I’ve never considered suicide myself, I’ve been concerned for people who do since I was a teenager. It is rare that a whole day passes without me putting some thought into the issue. It’s something we need to try and do more about as as society. As I mentioned the other day, it’s an especially difficult issue for veterans of the U.S. armed forces. And in my opinion, we do little to help them.

I don’t have much confidence Facebook will nail the implementation, but I have to think this is the kind of thing we should be working on. Most of us are online sharing our thoughts and feelings, and reading everyone else’s, why not try to leverage that in a way that might actually help others.

I’d like to see more of this.