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Google Launches Samaritans Link-up

Google has introduced a link-up with the Samaritans, displaying the charity's help-line number on its web search platform.

According to Google, when a user search query includes words like 'suicide' or 'commit suicide', a red telephone icon will appear above the search results along with the help-line number for the charity.

Google said that after it had introduced a similar feature in the US, distress calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline support group had increased by 9 per cent.

The company's UK managing director Matt Brittin said in a statement: “We hope that by adding a highly visible link on searches relating to suicide, Google can guide those who are vulnerable, distressed or suicidal to the renowned expertise and support offered by Samaritans.”

The UK charity Samaritans welcomed the company's move, and called the new feature a "positive step".

“The internet is a rapidly expanding phenomenon that allows people to access huge amounts of information, much of which is helpful but some of which can occasionally be dangerous,” the organisation said.