Monday, December 19, 2011

Facebook Helps Suicidal Individuals

The social-media site Facebook is making it easier for people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts to get help, the Associated Press reported December 13. The program "enables users to instantly connect with a crisis counselor through Facebook's 'chat' messaging system," said Fred Wolens, public-policy manager at Facebook.

Facebook is also finding an audience among psychiatrists who find it useful professionally. At least one is using it as a tool for a multicenter psychiatric study. But psychiatrists who use Facebook caution that there can be challenges—for example, what should you do when patients send you friend requests? For more information on the pros and cons of psychiatrists' use of social media, see Psychiatric News here .

(Image: Nokhoog_buchanon/