Twitter and Mental Health PH recently launched the #ThereIsHelp notification service in Thailand and the Philippines.
#ThereIsHelp is a notification service on Twitter which provides valuable mental health resources to vulnerable people and encourages them to reach out and get help when they need it.
When people search on Twitter for terms associated with suicide or self-harm in the two countries, the top search result will now include a notification in Thai or Tagalog encouraging them to reach out for help. The notification also provides the contact details of @mentalhealthph in the Philippines, as well as the National Center for Mental Health in the Philippines.
Twitter expanded the reach of #ThereIsHelp for self-harm and suicide since it was launched less than two years ago. This notification service is now available in 17 countries including Australia, Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Ireland, Italy, the Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States with plans for further expansion.
As part of this partnership, Twitter is also providing @Samaritans_Thai and @mentalhealthph with #AdsForGood grants to help them reach more people.
The focus for World Mental Health Day earlier this month was suicide prevention. According to the World Health Organisation, almost 800,000 people die due to suicide every year or one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds globally.
NGOs often use Twitter to raise awareness of their important services and to reach out to vulnerable people who they may otherwise not have contact with. The presence of these organizations is indicative of a trend we see globally in the way mental health service providers are using Twitter in order to meet the changing needs of society, especially to reach a younger audience. 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.
Twitter has a dedicated reporting form for people threatening suicide or self-harm, and a specialized team who reviews these reports. When the teams receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self-harm, they will contact the reported individual and let them know that someone who cares about them identified that they might be at risk. They will provide the person with online and hotline resources, and encourage them to seek help.
They also provide information on the Help Centre both for people who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide and self-harm and for people who are concerned about another account holder.