These are testing times, so Snapchat is stepping up to help those users struggling with mental and emotional health.
A new in-app support service called “Here For You” provides resources from local experts when Snapchatters search for sensitive topics such as anxiety, depression, grief, suicide, and bullying. Type in “thinspo” (pro-anorexia promotion), for example, and Snap will serve up content curated by eating disorder specialists. The content appears in recognizable, easily digestible 10-second clips, and users can tap through to learn more.
Previewed in February (to honor Safer Internet Day), the tool is now rolling out to more users who may be experiencing a health crisis, or are curious about how to help friends and family who are struggling. The app will also soon introduce a section dedicated to COVID-19, featuring information from health organizations including the CDC and WHO, Engadget reported.
Snapchat did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
Other resources include creative tools and lenses that promote safety and privacy, as well as new filters and the first-ever Snappable quiz.
Snap is not the first media platform to focus on mental health. Last year, Instagram began cracking down on posts about diet products and cosmetic surgery. The service now makes it easy to hide likes and block bullies, and guilts users out of writing offensive comments and captions. Parent company Facebook in October encouraged people to open up about mental health via “Let’s Talk” filters and stickers for Stories and Messenger. And Pinterest’s new “well-being activities” aim to calm anxiety and reduce stress.