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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 21 January 2021

Samaritans and Facebook launch joint appeal for suicide prevention

Concerned friends can contact Samaritans through Facebook in confidentiality if they see worrying messages or status updates online.

Image: Martin Keene/PA Wire

THE SUPPORT GROUP THE Samaritans has announced a new joint venture with Facebook to help provide support for people who think their friends may be feeling suicidal.

Facebook has created a help centre for concerned members which provides advice for dealing with threats of suicide and contact numbers for various international branches of the Samaritans.

The site offers advice on “how to identify and respond to warning signs of suicidal behaviour online”.

People can report any content they are concerned about to Facebook, which will in turn contact the Samaritans to provide their support.

In a statement, the Samaritans said that their confidentiality rules mean that they will not disclose the names of people who contact them with concerns about distressed friends. The organisation’s chief executive Catherine Johnstone said:

We want to remind people that if a friend says that life isn’t worth living, they should always be taken seriously. Facebook is a part of daily life for so many of us and we must make sure that people online have support when they need it.

The Samaritans can be found on Facebook and the phone number for the Irish branch of the organisation is 1850 60 90 90.

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