As part of Twitter's work around World Mental Health Day, we are pleased to announce the launch of #ThereIsHelp notification service for suicide and self harm in Thailand and the Philippines, in partnership with with Samaritans of Thailand (@Samaritans_Thai) and MentalHealthPH (@mentalhealthph).
#ThereIsHelp is a notification service on Twitter which provides valuable mental health resources to vulnerable people and encourages them to reach out and get help when they need it.
When people search for terms associated with suicide or self harm in Thailand or the Philippines on Twitter, the top search result will now include a notification in Thai or Tagalog encouraging them to reach out for help. The notification also provides the contact details of @Samaritans_Thai in Thailand, @MentalHealthPH in the Philippines; as well as the hotline numbers for the Department of Mental Health in Thailand (@PR_dmh) and the National Center for Mental Health in the Philippines.
We’ve significantly expanded the reach of this initiative. #ThereIsHelp is also available for people who use Twitter in Australia, Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.
The focus for World Mental Health Day on October 10 was suicide prevention and according to the World Health Organisation, almost 800,000 people die due to suicide every year - or one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally.
At Twitter, we believe that addressing mental health requires collaboration across all of society — public, private and not-for-profit — and we recognise that we have a role and responsibility to help ensure that people can access and receive support on our service when they need it most.
Suicide prevention remains a complex challenge but we believe it’s important that people who are struggling are seen and heard so that they can get the help they need. The various communities on Twitter are a source of positive support and are thriving; encouraging each other who may be struggling to avoid self harm, and to reach out for professional help.
In addition, NGOs often use Twitter as a channel to identify and reach out to vulnerable people who they may otherwise not have contact with, and to raise awareness of their important services. The presence of these organisations is indicative of a trend we see globally in the way mental health service providers are using Twitter in order to meet the changing needs of society, especially to reach a younger audience. Increasingly, we see mental health organisations offering critical services via digital channels and social media platforms that are relevant, widely used and reflective of the way society communicates today.
We have a dedicated reporting form for people threatening suicide or self harm, and a specialised team who review these reports. When we receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self-harm, we will contact the individual and let him or her know that someone who cares about them identified that they might be at risk. We will provide the reported user with available online and hotline resources and encourage them to seek help.
We also provide information on our Help Centre; both for people who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide and self harm, and for people who are concerned about another account holder.
We believe #ThereIsHelp and Twitter’s other partnerships and initiatives in this area make a valuable contribution to the ongoing and larger efforts required to address this serious issue. Let’s protect each other.