Facebook Unveils Crisis Tools For US Military

Facebook is showing its support for its home troops by launching a programme aimed at military personnel, their families and veterans - by providing them with customised resources in the event of their content being reported as harmful or suicidal.

This comes as a suicide prevention extension from last December, when Facebook gave users the ability to alert the site if their friends had posted any suicidal thoughts by clicking a link next to the statement. The social networking service then sends a message detailing suicide prevention resources to the author of the comment.

"While this is helpful for a military family, there are several specific resources provided to our nation's military that we wanted to make sure they were aware of at their time of need," explained military support agency Blue Star Families, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs who also teamed up with Facebook for the service.

Engineers at Menlo Park came up with a method to help recognise military members and their families, and should such content be flagged, Facebook will send specific military resources such as The Veterans Crisis Line to the user in question.

Questioning 2,891 military family members by Blue Star Families, approximately 10 per cent said that they had contemplated suicide whilst 9 per cent said they knew a service member who had considered suicide.

When asked for their thoughts on what military leaders should do to tackle the issue, many responded (23 per cent) with the need to discard the stigma that still surrounds the idea of pursuing mental health support.

"Indeed, many comments mentioned leaders telling military members to ‘suck it up,' or ‘soldier up,'" said the authors of the study.

Source: Mashable