Instagram Is Focusing On Mental Health With Its Latest Feature
Social media can sometimes tell you a lot about a person. It’s where many share their inner thoughts and express things they may not say out loud to others. We’ve seen several examples of someone dealing with a mental health issue and their social media showed signs of trouble.
Instagram knows this to be true, and the app’s latest feature is a tool for suicide prevention. If you observe someone you follow posting something that raises an eyebrow and seems like a red flag to a bigger issue, you can report it anonymously.
The person will then get a message from Instagram saying someone “saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we’d like to help.”
They’ll be encouraged to talk to a friend, a helpline and get tips. Sometimes all it takes is a person knowing someone cares about them.
This new feature is not just reserved for those who may be having suicidal thoughts. The messages address eating disorders and other mental health issues.
Instagram worked with the National Eating Disorders Association and The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to use the correct language in the messages.
The company’s COO Marne Levine told Seventeen how this new feature came about, saying, “We listen to mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress. At the same time, we understand friends and family often want to offer support but don’t know how best to reach out. These tools are designed to let you know that you are surrounded by a community that cares about you, at a moment when you might most need that reminder.”
There will also be an alert sent to users if they’re searching hashtags where one might think they’re in trouble.
It’s good Instagram is recognizing the power social media has and how certain situations can be prevented by people knowing someone cares about them.
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