Last month, authorities in Pittsburg, Calif., said a man posted a suicide note on Facebook before he killed his wife and in-laws then himself.
In July, police in Pennsylvania said they believed they were able to help prevent a man’s suicide after the man’s friend in California alerted police about a distraught Facebook posting. Police met with the man, who was committed to a hospital.
Nearly 100 Americans die by suicide every day, and 36,035 a year, according to U.S Surgeon General Regina Benjamin’s office.
“We have effective treatments to help suicidal individuals regain hope and a desire to live and we know how powerful personal connections and support can be,” Benjamin said in a statement. “Facebook and the Lifeline are to be commended for addressing one of this nation’s most tragic public health problems.”
The Lifeline currently responds to dozens of users on Facebook each day. Crisis center workers will be available 24 hours a day to respond to users selecting the chat option.