After eleven years of being somewhat dormant, the government has finally put a new suicide prevention plan into effect. This new strategy aiming to help prevent and gain awareness on suicide will include $55.6 million in grant funding for programs.
One part of this plan is a social media application which will be paired with Facebook Inc. to help report suicidal concerns seen on the social media website, as reported by Reuters. Many people have reached out on Facebook as a last cry for help. The Internet can be a cruel place, as was the case with Tyler Clementi and many others who have suffered from bullying, with the new Facebook application users can report comments on the site and the individual who posted it will then receive an email with hotline information and places to go to talk about the problem at hand.
This new funding will also go to prevention programs and will serve to increase awareness in the media through PSA’s and will promote the National Suicide Prevention Line (1-800-273-TALK).
Many outlets will be getting involved with this new initiative to help prevent more suicides from happening, “We didn’t really talk about suicide much,” Surgeon General Benjamin said to Reuters. “We didn’t bring up the idea of suicide. We were afraid it might give someone a new idea. Now we know that it’s important to ask, ‘Have you had suicidal thoughts?’”
To finally see action put into place makes everything that we’re doing here worthwhile. There hasn’t been a plan in over ten years, and suddenly, we’re receiving funding and creating online applications that could help save lives. Progress is being made, we just can’t allow ourselves to stop now. It’s all about spreading awareness.