Instagram’s New Tool Now Offers Mental Health Support

Hoping to save lives

Instagram, a place where you can share unfiltered snap shots of your day to day life, launch your online business, creep your ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend, and see what you’re missing out on during Coachella.

It’s pretty safe to say the app, while amazing, isn’t necessarily the best representation of someones real life (nor is just about anything on the internet). With added features like Instagram stories, and the ability to now zoom-in, it is quite easy to delve into the life of someone you don’t even know personally. With the brand new features, comes one that may be more beneficial than re-playing someone’s Boomerang 50 times. Now, when you’re scrolling through your feed and notice something a little off, there’s a tool that will allow you to flag accounts so that Instagram can send them a message offering support.

Here’s how it works. When you flag a picture, Instagram will send the corresponding user a message that says “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.” It will then go on to offer various options for seeking help, including the option to talk to a friend, numbers for support hotlines, and advice for seeking mental health support.

Users will also be directed to the support page if they try and search for a hashtag related to self-injury, or triggering to abuse and disordered eating/body image.

“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 COO Marne Levine told Seventeen.

“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.”

The new feature was developed by Instagram in a partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Eating Disorder Association. What do you think about the new feature?