Facebook users who are worried about suicidal friends can now raise the alarm at the first sign of concern following the launch of the Facebook Help Page.

Samaritans join forces with social network

Facebook users who are worried about suicidal friends can now raise the alarm at the first sign of concern following the launch of the Facebook Help Page.

The social networking site has teamed up with The Samaritans to launch a scheme which allows users to record the name and details of friends who they feel are in danger of committing suicide.

The charity’s chief executive, Catherine Johnstone, said: “We want to remind people that if a friend says that life isn’t worth living, they should always be taken seriously.”

The new alert system is thought to be a response to the increasing numbers of people who have ended their lives after posting their suicide notes on their wall or as a status update.

The police will be informed of those who are considered to be at immediate risk and The Samaritans will be put in touch with all reported cases.

The launch of the Facebook Help Page comes just eight months after Kingston University student, Carmen Chan, committed suicide last summer after she admitted feeling “worthless, hopeless and useless” in a suicide note.

But some KU students feel that Facebook’s online support system is not something that they would feel comfortable using.

Afsha Iqbal, a first-year Pschology student said: “I think that friends should talk to them themselves and not get other people involved.”

KU’s Wellbeing Services offer free counselling sessions at the Counselling & Health Advice Centre Kingston Hill and the Health Centre Penrhyn Road.

A university spokesperson said: “Kingston University takes the mental health of its students very seriously and offers a range of support  and counselling for students.”

“If students are worried about themselves or a friend they can try one of the options available through the Health & Counselling.”

“The first port of call is ‘drop-in’ sessions with a Counsellor or Health Advisor. These are available every weekday across all campuses.”

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