September 10, 2018, is World Suicide Prevention Day, and the theme for this year is "Working Together to Prevent Suicide."
In recognition of this important global event, Twitter, in partnership with the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), is launching a special emoji in the shape of an orange and yellow ribbon — the international symbol for World Suicide Prevention Day. The emoji will appear when people Tweet with the hashtags #WorldSuicidePreventionDay, #SuicidePrevention, #WSPD2018, and #WSPD from September 7-16 in 15 different languages.
At Twitter, we believe that addressing mental health requires collaboration between all stakeholders — public, private, and not-for-profit — and we recognize that we have a role and responsibility to help ensure that people can access and receive support when they need it most.
One of the key ways that we do this is via a range of valued partnerships with suicide prevention and counselling services in various countries. This includes our marquee "There is Help" partnerships with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US, the Tokyo Suicide Prevention Center in Japan, and Lifeline Korea. Today we are expanding our services to bring relevant resources to additional countries through formalized partnerships in Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong, Spain, Ireland, Germany, and the UK.
This service offers a prompt on Twitter, which links the user directly to valuable mental health resources to vulnerable people and encourages them to reach out and get help when they need it.
When someone searches for terms associated with suicide or self-harm, the top search result is a prompt encouraging them to reach out for help. This valuable notification provides the contact details of the partner organization in their country when certain keywords are used. It is available on mobile devices and desktop in the US, Japan and Korea, and now offered on mobile in Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong, Spain, Ireland, Germany, and the UK.
Suicide prevention remains a complex challenge but at Twitter 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, encouraging users who may be struggling not to self-harm to reach out for professional help. We also have a list of international resources on our website where people can go to find more information and the details of relevant organizations within their respective countries. Increasingly, we see mental health organizations 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 reporting form for people threatening suicide or self-harm and a dedicated team who review these reports. When we receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self-harm, we will contact the reported user 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 in our Help Center, both for people who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide and self-harm, and for people who are concerned about another Twitter user.
We believe "There is Help" and Twitter’s other partnerships and initiatives in this space will make a valuable contribution to the ongoing and larger efforts required to address this serious issue.