Google is set to introduce prewritten text prompts that will appear when users search for suicide-related terms. Developed in partnership with the International Association for Suicide Prevention, these prompts are designed to assist people in starting a challenging conversation during a mental health crisis.
The prewritten text prompts will appear directly beneath the information for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which Google already displays when people search for suicide-related terms. Each prompt will include a "send a text" button, which, when clicked, will open and paste the prompt into the user's text messaging app. At this time, it is unclear whether these messages will appear on Google's desktop site.
Megan Jones Bell, Google’s director of consumer and mental health, emphasized the importance of these prompts in a recent blog post. She stated, "When someone is in a vulnerable situation, it can be difficult to put this experience into words and know what to say to ask for help. These prewritten prompts reduce the stigma of reaching out to ask for help, which is shown to help people get support in moments of crisis."
In addition to these prompts, Google has begun using artificial intelligence to identify searches made by individuals in crisis, directing them to resources that may be beneficial. On YouTube, Google has taken steps to remove content promoting eating disorders and has imposed age restrictions on videos related to eating disorder recovery. The tech giant has also added crisis center resource panels beneath videos and search results focused on eating disorders.