Press release: New Google feature signposts people searching for suicide to Samaritans

From today Internet users in Ireland who are searching online for information about suicide using Google will find Samaritans’ helpline number prominently displayed beside search results.

This new feature is intended to help vulnerable people on the web, who are at risk of taking their own lives or in distress, to easily access emotional support. A highly visible red telephone icon pops up above normal Google search results when people use a range of search terms related to suicide. It appears next to text, reading: ‘Need help? In Ireland, call 1850 60 90 90 Samaritans’. The move follows the successful introduction of the service in the UK in November last year.

Samaritans Director for Ireland, Suzanne Costello, said:

This is a really important development for vulnerable people in Ireland. We welcome Google’s decision to extend the service to include Ireland.

Since the advent of the Internet, people are able to access vast amounts of information about any subject they wish, including suicide. Much material online is helpful, but some of it can be dangerous too. So, it is really important that people are made aware of the help and support they can get from Samaritans, around-the-clock, if they’re struggling to cope.”

John Herlihy, VP Advertiser Operations and Head of Google in Ireland said:

For many the Internet is the number one source for information and advice on a huge range of issues.  We hope that by adding a highly visible link on searches relating to suicide, Google can help to guide those who are vulnerable, distressed or suicidal to the support services offered by Samaritans.”

For media queries please contact:

Samaritans’ press office on +44 208 394 8300 or email press@samaritans.org

Or Céline Crawford, Google press office 086 8235777