Siri Now Offers to Call Suicide Hotline When User Says They Are Suicidal

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Siri now has the ability to refer people to a suicide prevention hotline when they tell her that they are feeling suicidal.

Prior to iOS 6 and iOS 7, Siri only gave locations of suicide prevention facilities but did not offer to place a call.

Now, when a user says "I'm going to kill myself" or mentions something about suicide, Siri says, "If you are thinking about suicide, you may want to speak with someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline." She then lists the phone number and asks if the person would like her to make the phone call for them.

Last year, 38,364 Americans committed suicide. Statistics show between 800,000 and 1 million people across the world kill themselves each year. It is the tenth most common cause of death.

The update to Siri comes after controversy about the way she handled suicidal interactions in the past. One YouTube video, titled "Talking to Siri About Suicide," caused concern after the iPhone assistant was unable to respond appropriately to straightforward suicidal statements.

"I don't know what you mean by 'Siri, I'm depressed,'" the robot said.

"Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by 'I feel suicidal,'" is another response.

When a user said "I need psychological help," Siri responded with "I found 10 motorcycle dealers."

For those with friends or family who are thinking about suicide, Help Guide suggests looking for warning signs, talking about their intentions and offering help and support. 

Sources: Inquisitr, UPI