Instagram’s New Feature Could Be A Mental Health Life Saver
Instagram, arguably social media’s leading media sharing service, tackles mental health with the swipe of a finger. That’s right, according to the ‘Gram, a new feature will allow users to anonymously flag a photo in the event they think someone needs help.
Once the image is flagged, the individual will receive a message prompting them to select an “option” to get help such as contacting a helpline — which will vary by the user’s location. “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,” a message will read.
As for how Instagram plans to execute, according to reports, they’ve partnered with organizations like the National Eating Disorders Association and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to create effective, rather than invasive, messages – instrumental to the success of the tool.
“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,” Instagram’s Chief Operating Officer Marne Levine told Seventeen Magazine. “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.”
Additionally, users searching for a hashtag associated with self-harm will be directed to a support page. Though most dangerous hashtags have been banned, for those that are circulating, support options will be available.