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Officials Tap Facebook To Help Prevent Suicide

A new nationwide strategy to prevent suicides, especially among U.S. military veterans and younger Americans, will tap Facebook Inc as part of a community-driven push to report concerns before someone takes their own life.

The new Facebook service will allow users to report suicidal comments they see online from friends. The website will then send the potential victim an email urging them to call the hotline as well as chat confidentially online with a counselor.

“All too often, people in crisis do not know how – or who – to ask for help,” Facebook Global Vice President for Public Policy Marne Levine said in a statement. “We have a unique opportunity to provide the right resources to our users in distress, when and where they need them most.”

The effort, announced on Monday, is the first new plan in more than a decade to address what officials say is a growing public health issue and aims to curb deaths over 10 years.

“It takes the entire community to prevent suicides. It’s not just one individual,” U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin told Reuters. “We call can play a role.”

Source: Reuters

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