Feds Launch New Suicide Prevention Strategy
Published September 16, 2012
Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are at a much higher risk of suicide than the general population. In fact, California veterans benefits lawyers have found that suicides are the number one killer among veterans. Concerned at the growing number of suicides in the United States, especially those involving veterans, the federal administration has announced the launch of a new strategy that will tap into technologies, like social media and social networking to reduce the risks of suicide.
The new strategy was announced by US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, who says that it is time we finally understood that the entire community can prevent a suicide. The strategy will include the use of social media and social networking, sites like Facebook, mobile apps as well as other technologies to help drive a community-based effort that will help prevent suicides.
As part of the strategy, the plan is promoting a Facebook Inc. service. The service allows users to report any suicidal comments that they see from people online. If such a person has been identified, then the website will send that person an e-mail, urging him to talk to a counselor confidentially online, or to contact a suicide prevention hotline. Facebook is a big part of this new strategy, and for millions of Americans as well as veterans, it has become a daily journal. There are a number of cases where people posted their feelings of depression and anxiety on Facebook, just before they committed suicide.
According to Facebook’s global vice president for public policy, the website will use its unique resources to help people who are depressed.
Besides Facebook, the new strategy will also include the use of mobile apps, which are able to help persons who are suffering from suicidal thoughts, to connect with counseling services that can help them.