Feeling down about life? Talk to Siri.
Yes, the plucky assistant that lives in your mobile Apple device has suicide prevention protocols in place. Siri has strengthened her response to references to suicide and will even offer to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in an effort to get you to think twice about shuffling off this mortal coil.
9to5mac originally reported on Siri’s stepped-up suicide prevention protocols, showing an image of the user writing “I’m going to kill myself.”
In response, Siri says “If you are thinking about suicide, you may want to speak with someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.” Siri then lists the phone number, and asks if you’d like her to call them for you.
Previously, Siri would only show the locations of suicide prevention locations but wouldn’t offer to place a call on your behalf.
This new change has been implemented in iOS 6 and iOS 7.
According to official statistics, 38,364 Americans committed suicide last year. Across the world, estimates range between 800,000 and one million people. Suicide is the 10th most common cause of death.
If you have a friend who is thinking about suicide (and they don’t have an Apple device), Help Guidesuggests looking for warning signs, talking about their suicidal intentions with them, offering help and support, and responding quickly in a crisis.
Siri’s suicide prevention protocols don’t include such rigorous intervention. Maybe in iOS 8.
What do you think of Siri’s suicide prevention protocols? Have you told your Apple device you’re thinking about suicide to see what Siri would say?