Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Facebook Joins Fight Against Military Suicides

The world's most popular social-networking site is putting its immense scope to work in the cause of trying to reduce the troubling number of suicides by military personnel and veterans. Facebook announced earlier this month that it is offering specialized suicide-prevention services for veterans, active-duty members of the military, and their families. The initiative was developed in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the nonprofit organization Blue Star Families, founded by military families to help other such families adjust to the challenges of military life. Through Facebook, friends and families of service members and veterans who are concerned about the mental health or suicide potential of their loved ones can connect with a crisis line through which VA personnel can respond via phone, online chat, or text message. They can also send military-related mental health and counseling information to their loved ones via Facebook. 

U.S. military officials have over the last several years initiated several programs to try to stem and reverse a steadily increasing number of service members who have taken their own lives. To read more about efforts to reduce the epidemic of suicides in the military, see Psychiatric News, here and here.

(image: Straight 8 Photography/Shutterstock.com)

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