Facebook has updated its suicide prevention tool with the support of the Samaritans.

Under the new process, Facebook users will be asked to contact local emergency services immediately if they see a direct suicide threat on the social network.

The company is also requesting that troubling content in a post be reported using the tool, facilitating a review by teams working around the clock across the world.

The reviewer can then send options and resources for help to the user considered to be in distress.

The volume of support and resources available the next time a user who has posted something of concern logs back on has been expanded.

These included contacting the Samaritans, getting in touch with a friend, as well as tips and advice on how to work through the feelings.

Help is now also available to the person who reported the worrying post, including the possibility of calling or messaging the distressed person, or contacting a trained volunteer.

More than 2.1 million people in Ireland use Facebook.

The move comes ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, which takes place on Saturday.