Facebook said it will take more concrete steps against potentially harmful content along with creating new Instagram wellness guides to help prevent suicides in the Covid-19 times.
Following the release of wellness guides on Instagram, Fcaebook is launching localised guides that address ways to prevent suicide and support those who might be struggling.
“For example, in India, the Suicide Prevention India Foundation’s guide focuses on how to foster social connectedness and in Hong Kong, Samaritans HK’s guide shares ways to check in on your friends,” Facebook said in a blog post on Thursday, the day when the World Suicide Prevention Day was observed.
Getting people help in real time is especially important when they are in distress.
“In the coming months, we’ll make it easier for people to talk in real time with trained crisis and mental health support volunteers over Messenger,” the company informed.
With the increase of online learning due to Covid-19, Facebook said it is expanding online resources for educators and adding Orygen’s #chatsafe guidelines on how to help young people talk safely online about suicide to Facebook’s Safety Center.
These will be available first in English, and seven more languages next month.
A June study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the pandemic is having a serious impact on the mental health of young adults, caregivers, essential workers and minorities in particular.
One in four young adults aged 18-24 said they considered suicide in the 30 days prior to the study. They specifically cited the pandemic as a factor.
“We work closely with suicide prevention experts like Samaritans in the UK on our approach to suicide and self-harm content,” Facebook said.