Science and Tech

Facebook launches tools to help suicidal LGBT teens get help via Messenger

Nick Duffy May 17, 2017
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Facebook is partnering with The Trevor Project to launch tools to help suicidal LGBT people.

The social network announced that it would be rolling out crisis support tools over the coming weeks to connect people to mental health organisations.

As part of the new options, people in distress will be able to use Facebook’s Messenger app to contact charities and support lines.

Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety, explained: “People can talk in real time with trained crisis and mental health support volunteers over Messenger. Participating organizations include Crisis Text Line, the National Eating Disorder Association, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“We are also happy to announce that we will be adding The Trevor Project, an organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. The option will roll out over the next few months.”


Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project offers suicide prevention servicws for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and other queer (LGBTQ+) youth.

A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives.

The tie-up, which will be rolled out later this year, is only part of the brand’s effort.

Davis explained: “May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the US, and this month Facebook is letting people know about our tools and resources we have developed for people who may be struggling.

“People may see videos or photos in News Feed for a broad awareness campaign about supportive groups, crisis support over Messenger and suicide prevention tools.

“We’ve been committed to mental health support for many years, and this is one of the ways we’re working to build a safer and more supportive community on Facebook.

“As we continue to invest in new tools and resources, we hope Facebook can help provide support to more people over time. For example, Mama Dragons, a Utah community of mothers with LGBTQ children, uses Facebook Groups to share experiences and offer support.”

She added: “On Facebook, people can connect to groups that support them through difficult times. Throughout May, we’ll be helping more people find groups about mental health and well-being.

“Together, we hope these resources help more people who may be struggling and and we’re continuously improving them to build a safer and more supportive community on Facebook.”

Related: Facebook clamps down on spread of ‘revenge porn’ with photo matching tools

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (, or Mind on 0300 123 3393 ( ​Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.

More: Facebook, LGBT, suicide, tech

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