Facebook has launched yet another service to help those in need, this time for military members, veterans and families suffering from the mental and emotional effects of war.
A May 9 post to the U.S. Military's Facebook page by Blue Star Families, a nonprofit organization providing support for military families, announced the new feature, which is being offered through Facebook in partnership with Blue Star Families and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
According to the post, Blue Star Families worked with Facebook engineers to develop this customized tool, which will allow friends and loved ones to report suicidal content posted by military family or service members and, in return, receive military-related counseling information.
The post continues thus:
Today, we along with Facebook and the Department of Veterans Affairs are proud to announce that the Facebook military crisis content is live. As a result, friends and families with concerns about veterans, active duty service members and military family members will receive specific information about crisis services for our nation’s military including The Veterans Crisis Line. The Veterans Crisis line connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders via phone, online chat or text messaging.
As MSNBC points out, the social network had previously launched a program late last year to help prevent suicide by enabling users to connect directly with National Suicide Prevention Lifeline crisis counselors through Facebook's chat feature.
However, this new service has been designed specifically for the needs of military members and their families; according to Blue Star Families' latest Military Lifestyle Survey, 10 percent of military family members have considered suicide, while 9 percent of military service members have done the same.
Recently, on May 1, Facebook launched a different tool, which allows users in the U.S. and the U.K. to report their organ donor status and officially sign up with an appropriate organ donor registry in their area. A day after Facebook rolled out the new feature, 6,000 people had enrolled through 22 state registries. In addition, more than 100,000 had shared their organ donor status on the site.
You can learn more about these new Facebook tools for military members and families by tuning in to a live, interactive event airing on May 10 at 3 p.m. EST on Facebook's DC Talks page. RSVP for the event here.
What do you think about this newest Facebook feature? Share your thoughts with us below!