Facebook teams up with UK charity Samaritans to identify friends in need

Social network Facebook has united with the charity Samaritans to help users identify and offer support to friends who may be considering suicide.

Users will be required to complete a form which can be found in the Help section of Facebook, which will ask for any concerning posts or comments that may suggest a friend in need. From what details are taken in regards to the situation, Facebook will decide on how the concerns should be addressed, be it with support from Samaritans or taking the issue to the police.

This action has come from the increasing amount of users who post status updates or posts relating to being in distress or ending their own life. With a number of specific cases where remarks made by a user have been overlooked and deaths have occurred, this service has been set up to help those who may be in need who have not had the support they would have required to prevent such actions.

We must however wonder at the effectiveness of such a service, with a high number of Facebookers using the social network as an outlet for every bit of ill feeling towards themselves and the reading world, often posting extreme remarks whenever they’re having a bit of a “bad day”.

It begs the question – Will the genuine sufferers benefit or be overlooked?