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How can you help prevent Suicides on Instagram

How can you help prevent Suicides on Instagram

Normally you would not associate a social networking and photo sharing application with “saving lives” of people. But substantially, this would be a very powerful decision. Hence, a new support feature in the Instagram mobile application enables you to “report a friend’s suicidal tendencies” and that too anonymously.

Social media is increasingly becoming an early warning system for the negative and trouble causing mental behaviors of a certain number of users. And cries for help are too common. So the next time you notice anything like this on Instagram, you’ll be able to do something about it!

Preventing Suicide and Self Harm on Instagram

The Facebook Inc.’s Instagram introduces a tool that aims to prevent any kind of suicidal tendencies, self-injury, and eating disorders by providing timely help to those in need. Therefore, now on if you spot any such uncertain post that hints towards self-injury, you can easily step up & report the post. Here’s how :

  1. Tap the “three dots” on the top of a post (…)
  2. Tap on “Report”
  3. Select the option, “It’s Inappropriate > Self-injury”

Preventing suicide and self-injury on Instagram

The feature offers three different options to choose:

  • “Talk to a friend”
  • “Contact a helpline”
  • “Get tips and support”

To flag posts, Instagram’s approach depends on its users rather than any algorithms. Every flagged post is reviewed by the team of Instagram. The particular user will see a notification of  “Can we help?” along with an anonymous message saying:

“Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we’d like to help.”

Instagram’s Chief Operating Officer Marne Levine told Seventeen.com:

“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.”

Seventeen had also partnered with Instagram on the #PerfectlyMe campaign that was meant to highlight young women &  men who are rocking their self-confidence & embracing their own uniqueness.

Try searching for hashtags like #selfinjury and #eating disorders and you’ll be interrupted by the message shown below. Instagram Help explains them on its Self-Injury web page.

Instagram Notification

 Instagram spokeswoman Marni Tomljanovic added,

“We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review these reports. They prioritize the most serious reports and respond quickly. If someone on Instagram sees a direct threat of suicide or self-injury, we encourage them to contact local emergency services immediately.”

Instagram continues by saying that it has partnerships with more than 40 distinctive organizations around the world specializing in offering the support services to people who are envisioning of suicide and other self-injuries. Instagram is achieving the goal of their service by working with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the National Eating Disorders Association, Save.org, and the Samaritans.

Ms. Tomljanovic continues,

“We consulted with people having real-life experience with eating disorders, self-injury or suicide. We listen to the mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress. At the same time, we do understand that friends & family often want to offer support but don’t know how best to reach out.”

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