Facebook and The Trevor Project hope to help prevent LGBTQ youth suicides

Facebook has been working to make users feel safer on the platform for years, and in its latest effort to enhance the online community, the social media platform partnered with The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.

On Tuesday in the middle of Mental Health Awareness month Facebook announced that users will be able to connect with mental health resourcesfromThe Trevor Project right from their direct messages. The project rolls out over the next few months.

According to The Trevor Project’s website, the rate of suicide attempts is “four times greater for LGB youth and two times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth,” so it’s clear how helpful access to a supportive chat bot could be. And though The Trevor Project is aimed at helping suicide prevention in young people, the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 40 percent of transgender adult respondents reportedly made a suicide attempt during their lives, so Facebook users of all ages could certainly benefit from the helpful resource.

The messenger crisis support will also expand awareness to other areas of the mental heath community with the help of participating organizations likeCrisis Text Line, the National Eating Disorder Association, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The social media site recently received a great deal of backlash surrounding the spread of live-streamed suicide videos and earlier this month after a violent video of a Cleveland man shooting and killing a 74-year-old man was posted to the site founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted more human intervention is necessary on the site to ensure the safety of users.

The site also collaborated with mental health organizations back in 2016 to launch tools and resources aimed at supporting the mental health community. Users now have easily accessible support groups along with the ability to report concerning posts related to self-injury or suicide directly to Facebook.

Back in March the site was even testing a pattern recognition system that would use AI to identify posts that include certain keywords pertaining to suicidal thoughts.

Studies have shown that excessive social media us could increase levels of depression, so the more resources the better.

If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list is a good place to start.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/17/facebook-lgbtq-trevor-project/

India’s leading edutech startup is now a Harvard case study

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Education technology startup Byju’s, backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), is now a Harvard case study.

It is only the fourth Indian startup to make it to the hallowed Harvard Business Publishing platform, after Flipkart (India’s largest online retailer), Paytm (India’s biggest mobile wallet) and GOQii (India’s leading health and fitness startup).

The case titled ‘Byju’s The Learning App’ will outline the startup’s unique usage of content, media and technology that has enabled it to create a compelling product for students.

Byju’s now has over 400,000 annual paid subscribers, and over 8 million downloads so far. It also claims that the average time spent on the app is a handsome 40 minutes.

What makes Byju’s a two-year-old company unique?

In the words of its founder, Byju Raveedran, Learning through technology triggers changes in how students consume content. It offers them newer ways to explore concepts and initiate learning on their own.”

Perhaps that is what drew the attention of Mark Zuckerberg as well.

Last September as the CZI led a $50 million investment in Byju’s, the Facebook founder wrote, “I’m optimistic about personalized learning and the difference it can make for students everywhere.”

“That’s why it’s a major focus of our education efforts, and why we’re looking forward to working with companies like BYJU’s to get these tools into the hands of more students and teachers around the world,” he added.

Not only Zuckerberg, Byju’s drew an undisclosed investment from World Bank‘s International Finance Corporation too. With these dollars, the startup plans to roll out new products and expand into the US and the UK.

Meanwhile, the Harvard case study, which has been authored by John Jong-Hyun Kim, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, and Rachna Tahilyani, associate director, Harvard Business School India Research Center, is available for teaching purposes within and outside Harvard.

“It is very humbling to have our brand story as a Harvard Business School case study. This further encourages us to innovate and build learning programs to revolutionize education and create a whole new segment of self-paced learners globally, said founder Raveendran in a statement.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/05/zuckerberg-backed-edutech-startup-harvard-case-study/