New Facebook Program Helps Prevent Suicide Among Veterans, Military Families

June 20, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. veteran (n.) 
[vet-er-uhn, ve-truhn] – a person who has finished serving the armed forces
Example: The veteran was awarded for his loyal service to the military.

2. non-partisan (adj.) [non-pahr-tuh-zuhn] – not supporting a certain group or party
Example: The organization is non-partisan since they support neither of the two political parties.

3. counseling (adj.) [koun-suh-ling] –the act of giving advice or guidance
Example: The association holds counseling programs for job-seekers.

4. contact (v.) [kon-takt] – to communicate with
Example: The military officer contacted his family abroad to get some news from them.

5. chat (n.) [chat] – to exchange conversation with other people over a computer network
Example: It is now easier to get in touch with friends since the start of online chatting.

Read the text below.

Facebook has recently launched additional services specially made for veterans, military members and their families to help prevent them from committing suicide.

The new services were added to the original suicide prevention tools Facebook has launched last year.

In a survey conducted by Blue Star Families, a non-partisan organization helping families of military personnel, ten percent of military family members and nine percent of service members have considered committing suicide.

Also, according to the survey, 90% of the respondents use social media and 86% use Facebook daily.

Thus, the organization decided to partner with Facebook to decrease the number of suicide cases.

The new Facebook service identifies military families and members, and sends important counseling information to their relative serving the military.

This counseling information includes instructions on how to contact the Veterans Crisis Line which veterans and their loved ones can speak with counselors through phone, online chat or text messaging.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think the new Facebook suicide prevention program will be effective? Why or not?
·         Can you think of other social issues that can be solved with the help of Facebook and other social networking sites?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think military service and family members are more likely to commit suicide?
·         What other solution can you think of to help decrease suicide cases?


June 20, 2012