AirTalk®

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Gauging the effectiveness of Facebook’s new suicide prevention feature

by AirTalk®

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In this photo illustration the Social networking site Facebook is displayed on a laptop screen on March 25, 2009 in London, England. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Online chat has proven to be a surprisingly effective tool for suicide prevention. Now social media site Facebook wants to do one better, by offering resources to users who express potential suicidal thoughts.

The social media giant announced Wednesday that they've put together a team of mental health professionals to review posts that indicate their authors might want to harm themselves. The site asks users to report content they deem troubling and will send out notifications and suicide prevention resources, like hotline information, to the posters.

What kind of niche does this program fill? How effective would it be?

If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1 (800) 273-8255

Guests:

Sandri Kramer, crisis line director at the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center in Los Angeles

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and she’s a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance. She is an expert in teen depression and suicide

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