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Amplifying #SuicidePrevention resources on Twitter

By Monique Meche
Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Protecting the health of the public conversation is a top priority for our company.

Many people use Twitter to express unique points of view and talk openly about concerns. As we grapple with the weight and reality of an unprecedented public health crisis, it is our job to ensure that Twitter remains a safe space for anyone interested in mental health tips and resources or opening up about their individual mental health concerns.

Suicide prevention in extraordinary times

According to the World Health Organization, almost 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. Further, suicide rates can increase in prolonged crises and experts note that the COVID-19 global pandemic will cause distress and leave many people vulnerable to mental health problems and suicidal behavior. The US Center for Disease Control reports that younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities and essential workers are disproportionately faced with these mental health challenges. 

These statistics emphasize the urgency and importance of elevating the global conversation on suicide prevention and self harm, and we recognize that we have a role and responsibility to help improve access to and raise awareness of suicide prevention and self harm information and services. 

Raising awareness and elevating the public conversation

Earlier this summer, we worked with various mental health partners across the globe to raise awareness and encourage honest conversation around the emotional challenges we are experiencing together, amid the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. Since then, we’ve expanded our work with NGOs to identify, connect, and engage vulnerable people across the world. In particular, we’ve continued to engage suicide prevention organizations and counseling services to ensure that people on Twitter feel safe and have access to support when they need it most.

World Suicide Prevention Day 

World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2020 welcomes another opportunity to continue our momentum in spreading awareness and encouraging action to prevent suicide and self harm. 

Twitter is grateful to continue our global World Suicide Prevention Day partnership with the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). Together, for the third year, we are launching a custom emoji in the shape of an orange ribbon - the international symbol for World Suicide Prevention Day. The emoji will appear when people Tweet with the hashtags #WorldSuicidePreventionDay, #WSPD, #WSPD2020 and #SuicidePrevention through September 25 and is activated in 23 languages.

We are working with over 20 nonprofit partners worldwide to offer Ads for Good grants and amplify their local campaigns on Twitter. These partners are leading suicide prevention and mental health awareness in markets across the Asia Pacific, US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Africa.

We are also amplifying the creative activations of our Trust & Safety Council Suicide Prevention & Mental Health advisory group partners around World Suicide Prevention Day across the globe, including:

  • #ICANHELP: Using Twitter to amplify ideas from student leaders on tackling suicide in local communities across the US.
  • #MentalHealthPH: Starting a hashtag campaign, #MayKaramayKa, to encourage people in the Philippines to thank those who helped them in times of need. They’re also hosting a Q&A on September 10th for mental health professionals and psychologists to answer questions in real-time.
  • Mentally Aware Nigeria: Launching an animated video series covering a range of topics from identifying suicidal behaviors to supporting those in need. 
  • TELL: Launching #StepUp, a virtual step challenge encouraging everyone to take one step for each life lost daily from suicide in Japan - between WSPD and World Mental Health Day. 
  • Beyond Blue: Showcasing stories of 8 individuals who experienced suicidal ideation in Australia, empowering individuals in crisis to know that support is available. 

#ThereIsHelp

We’ve partnered with local mental health authorities and nonprofits in each market to offer #ThereIsHelp - a notification service that provides valuable mental health information and resources via Twitter and email.

When someone searches for terms associated with suicide or self harm, the top search result is a notification encouraging them to reach out for help. This year we expanded the prompts to several new markets in consultation with local mental health partners to ensure that we are sharing the latest and most helpful resources in our #ThereisHelp prompts across the globe.

#ThereIsHelp is available for people in the US, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and the UK.

Twitter’s active commitment to improving mental health plays an important role in addressing suicide and self harm, and we look forward to continued collaboration with suicide prevention organizations across the world.

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@moniqueMeche

Monique Meche

‎@moniqueMeche‎ verified

VP, Global Public Policy and Philanthropy, Twitter

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