Instagram has taken strides to help those who face mental illness. Through a new feature within the app, users may anonymously flag another user’s post if they believe someone is in need of help.
This new tool within the app will let users flag a post anonymously if they believe someone might be in danger of inflicting self-harm, or need access to support options.
When a post has been reported, Instagram will send out a message that states, “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.”
According to the World Health Organization there is an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffering from depression. This latest Instagram feature is meant to aid those millions of people and demonstrate that their followers care.
Marne Levine, the Instagram chief operating officer, said that the social media platform teamed up with mental health experts such as, the U.S. National Eating Disorder Association and the U.S. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, to gain advice on how to help those who are struggling with mental illness.
She added that the mental health experts said outreach from a loved one could make a huge impact when someone is in distress. However, it can be challenging for friends and a family member to know what to say to someone who they think needs help.
“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,” Levine said.
The platform has come to the decision to ban the search of hashtags that are tied to self-harm. Those who attempt to search for them will receive a support option pop up.
Instagram has also released a new feature that allows users to filter their comment sections, or fully disable them. They can highlight certain words that they do not want being said in their comments. The purpose is to limit attempts on cyber bullying.