Snapchat Announce New Mental Health Intervention Feature
This announcement by Snapchat is part of a wider health and wellness agenda set to tackle mental health issues that can arise from content and material posted on the platform. If you are affected by cyberbullying or anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
Snapchat have announced a new feature to support users who experience mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, body shaming and suicidal thoughts. The new feature called “Here For You”, is the first Snapchat product to tackle the issue of user wellbeing head-on and is designed to provide vulnerable users with relevant self-help material including expert advice, anxiety-relieving videos and relevant third-party content.
‘Here For You’ works by identifying user searches on the platform for words or phrases associated with potential mental wellness issues such as self-harm, suicide advocacy and pro-anorexia, as well as picking up on searches for subjects such as depression, loneliness and anxiety. The users are then provided with a mixture of results that include relevant expert advice and guidance as well as links to organizations that can offer professional support.
“Some of the solutions we seek already exist within the very same technologies used to create social media experiences. Investing in innovations that can improve user wellbeing and provide timely interventions using technology is definitely a move in the right direction.”
Dan Raisbeck, Co-founder, The Cybersmile Foundation
In a blog post, Snapchat spoke of the impact that this kind of intervention can have on vulnerable users who are going through traumatic experiences or suffering mental health issues, explaining how the new tool ‘will provide proactive in-app support to Snapchatters who may be experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis, or who may be curious to learn more about these issues and how they can help friends dealing with them.’
The announcement is part of a wider health and wellness agenda set by the platform to tackle mental health issues that can arise from content and material posted on Snapchat. Other features are also being implemented in an effort to help user manage their experience on the platform by filtering and blocking out unwanted content and unwelcome users.
Snapchat are not alone in undertaking efforts to tackle the issue of user wellbeing, with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all having introduced features to help users tailor their experiences when using their platforms.
This approach to user health and wellness follows long running critical narratives regarding social media platforms putting profits before people. With pressure from governments around the world, social media paltforms have stepped up efforts to prioritize user wellbeing.
If you are affected by any kind of online negativity, we can help you. Visit our Cyberbullying Help Center or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to open Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant. For further information about Cybersmile and the work we do, please explore the following suggestions:
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