Instagram’s New Feature is a Mental Health Game Changer

The app is on a mission to save lives

Nov 3, 2016
Instagram wants you to know that you are not alone (ArthurStock / Shutterstock.com)

Instagram wants you to know that you are not alone (ArthurStock / Shutterstock.com)

Instagram allows users to capture the gorgeous world around them, the delicious food on the table, or important moments in their lives. On October 16th, the app made an extremely positive change to add an entirely new layer of functionality to its service. If a friend posts a photo that signals they may need some support because they’re going through a tough time, you can be proactive, anonymously.

If you see a photo that raises concern, you can flag the image without revealing your identity. They’ll receive a message that reads: “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.” Instagram will then recommend solutions such as calling a local helpline, speaking to a friend, or getting information on where to find resources and advice for mental health. Additionally, if users search for hashtags that imply self harm, they will also get this note.

The app worked with organizations like The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Eating Disorders Association to create a message that would empower users and let them know that they are not alone. “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," Instagram COO Marne Levine told Seventeen.

To coincide with the feature launch, the day was named National Body Confidence Day where you could celebrate your individual personality and beautiful attributes with the body positivity hashtag #PerfectlyMe.

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REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.