Mental Health Experts, Internet Companies Partner on First Suicide Prevention Guide for Online Technology
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With nearly 1 million people estimated to die by suicide each year according to the World Health Organization, suicide prevention experts and leading internet companies today announced a new program to help people struggling with suicidal thoughts and intentions. Responding to a Cry for Help: Best Practices for Online Technologies is a policy and resource guide for new and emerging technology companies to decrease suicide risk among their users. The 2,700 suicides per day which far surpass deaths by conflict and homicide, impacts entire communities of families, friends, co-workers and others who know victims.
The new guide is current best practices developed over the past 3 years by nearly a dozen of the world’s leading internet companies, was created in partnership between Suicide Awareness Voice of Education and Facebook. “Each of these companies has created amazing technology that has changed our world,” said Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Executive Director of SAVE. “Today we are excited to release the best practices for suicide prevention and social media as part of the effort to reduce suicide globally.” The tool was designed to be a living document that can be added to and modified as technology advances and research is conducted in the field.
“The community can always play a unique role in supporting someone who needs help, whether it’s online or off,” said Joe Sullivan, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer. “We’ve learned a lot about the power of community when it comes to suicide prevention, and are proud to work with mental health experts and other companies to share these lessons and save lives.”
The new guide follows the collaboration between participants who met in person, reviewed over 200 existing suicide prevention research articles and conducted additional expert review and discussions in developing the recommendations. Participants included officials from Google, YouTube, Microsoft, Tumbler, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Suicide Research Unit–Medical University of Vienna, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The guide was designed for use by those in the technology/online industry as well as suicide prevention organizations and agencies that might have websites, blogs with response options for readers, as well as other industries such as news organizations that might allow for user generated content on their website. An example of how 3 different types of users might implement these best practices:
Online Nonprofit suicide prevention Newspaper with user company agency generated content with user generated content ---------- ---------------------------- ------------------- Company Agency has a website and Company wants to develop a wants a Facebook page; they would like policy for user generated basic standards for both comments standard for suicidal content --------- ------------------------------- -------------------------- They could create: They could create: They could create: A basic A policy for sharing/posting A policy on user generated FAQ and responding to suicidal feedback section content (that includes on transparency to users, suicide adherence to safe and effective messaging standards, etc.) A basic A procedure for responding to Provide transparency policy user generated content regarding their policy on on how user feedback they respond to suicide content At least Lists of resources for local Have a system for one and national assistance monitoring user generated national comments (automated or referral live) resource for users A statement listed after the story and before the user comment section on the policy --- -------------------------
Please check out Responding to a Cry for Help: Best Practices for Online Technologies by going to http://preventtheattempt.com.
SAVE’s mission is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and serve as a resource to those touched by suicide.
Learn more about online safety for suicidal content at www.preventtheattempt.com
Daniel Reidenberg, PsyD
SOURCE SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education