For me, suicide-prevention is a big deal. In fact, I volunteer with a local suicide prevention and awareness foundation to help with this.
Instagram is the largest photo-sharing site in the world, with over 400 million active users, and over 30% of internet users using the service to post photos. Meanwhile, Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens aged 10-24, and the tenth leading cause of death overall. On average, there are 117 suicides per day.
To help with this, Instagram has partnered with mental health professionals to develop tools to help prevent suicide with their users. For example, if you see a friend, classmate, neighbor, or family member post something troubling on the social media site, the user reports that picture to Instagram. Instagram will send a message to that person’s app when they open it up and will prompt them with things you can do.
You have the option to talk to a friend, contact a helpline, or get tips. It’s a small step forward, but we finally see something from companies to actually help users.
“We understand friends and family often want to offer support but don’t know how best to reach out,” Levine explained. “These tools are designed to let you know that you are surrounded by a community that cares about you, at a moment when you might most need that reminder.”
That was from Instagram COO Mark Levine and was told to Seventeen magazine.
This is a powerful tool and something we should all know about. “Outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress,” Levine said.
Please, if you or a loved one is in distress, or thinking about committing suicide, please seek help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. You’re loved by so many, please, stay with us.