Facebook Newsroom

Getting Our Community Help in Real Time

By Guy Rosen, VP of Product Management

When someone is expressing thoughts of suicide, it’s important to get them help as quickly as possible.

Facebook is a place where friends and family are already connected and we are able to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them. It’s part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook.

Today, we are sharing additional work we’re doing to help people who are expressing thoughts of suicide, including:

Over the last month, we’ve worked with first responders on over 100 wellness checks based on reports we received via our proactive detection efforts. This is in addition to reports we received from people in the Facebook community. We also use pattern recognition to help accelerate the most concerning reports. We’ve found these accelerated reports— that we have signaled require immediate attention—are escalated to local authorities twice as quickly as other reports. We are committed to continuing to invest in pattern recognition technology to better serve our community.

Expanding our use of proactive detection

Improving how we identify first responders and dedicating more reviewers

Our ongoing commitment to suicide prevention

Already on Facebook if someone posts something that makes you concerned about their well-being, you can reach out to them directly or report the post to us. We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in and prioritize the most serious reports. We provide people with a number of support options, such as the option to reach out to a friend and even offer suggested text templates. We also suggest contacting a help line and offer other tips and resources for people to help themselves in that moment.

Facebook has been working on suicide prevention tools for more than 10 years. Our approach was developed in collaboration with mental health organizations such as Save.org, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and Forefront Suicide Prevention and with input from people who have had personal experience thinking about or attempting suicide. They are also available globally — with the help of over 80 local partners — in whatever language people use Facebook in.

With the help of our partners and people’s friends and family on Facebook, we hope we can continue to support those in need.