Twitter launches dedicated search prompt for mental health resources on World Suicide Prevention Day

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As the world observes World Suicide Prevention Day, Twitter India announced its initiative aimed at spreading awareness and encouraging action to prevent suicide and self harm. In partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (@mheduNIMHANS), Twitter is launching a dedicated search prompt to serve information and updates from authoritative sources on the subject of ‘suicide prevention’.

When someone searches for terms associated with suicide or self harm, the top search result will be a prompt directing them to the relevant information and sources of help available on Twitter.This is an expansion of Twitter’s #ThereIsHelp prompt, which was specifically put in place for the public to find clear, credible information on critical issues.

The search prompt will be available on iOS, Android, and on mobile.twitter.com in India, in both English and Hindi languages,some of the search keywords include:

Continuing its World Suicide Prevention Day partnership globally with the with the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) for the third year, Twitter is activating 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, #SuicidePrevention through September 25 and is activated in 23 languages.

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 Center for Disease Control reports that younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities and essential workers are disproportionately faced with these mental health challenges.

image-Prof.-B-N-Gangadhar-Director-National-Institute-of-Mental-Health-and-Neuro-Sciences-MediaBrief.jpgProf. B N Gangadhar, Director – National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, said “We at NIMHANS are happy to work towards the cause of suicide prevention. We realize that each one of us has a responsibility in ensuring there is increased visibility for authoritative information on this subject, as it has the potential to save lives.

“This dedicated search prompt will increase our ability to be compassionate towards people around us, and help them in need by letting them know #ThereIsHelp,” Gangadhar added.

Image-Mahima Kaul, Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia, Twitter-MediaBrief.jpgMahima Kaul (@misskaul), Head of Public Policy, Twitter India, said, “As the world grapples with an unprecedented public health crisis, we are committed to ensure that anyone searching for information around mental health concerns on Twitter has access to credible resources.

“By launching this dedicated search prompt with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, we welcome another opportunity to amplify awareness and help resources around suicide prevention on Twitter, and contributing to the ongoing efforts required to address this serious issue,” Kaul added.

How to search and find credible information around suicide prevention on Twitter

On app

●        Click on Explore tab

●        Type and enter suicide-related keyword or query into the Search option on the top

●        A prompt on ‘ThereIsHelp’ will appear – click on it to access credible information and facts on the issue

On desktop

●        Go to Home

●        Type and enter enter suicide-related keyword or query into the Search option on the top right

●        A prompt on ‘ThereIsHelp’ will appear – click on it to access credible information and facts on the issue

Raising awareness and elevating the public conversation

Earlier this summer, Twitter worked with various mental health partners across the globe to raise awareness and encourage honest conversation around the emotional challenges people are experiencing together, amid the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

Since then, the service has expanded its work with NGOs to identify, connect and engage vulnerable people across the world. In particular, Twitter has 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.

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