Instagram has introduced updated tools to help support people in India, who may be struggling with self-injury or may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. Moreover, the Facebook-owned social media company also provides relevant resources for their concerned friends and family.
If someone posts something on Instagram that makes you concerned about their well-being, you can report the post to Instagram. Now, with the help of these new tools, if the friend appears at risk, Instagram will send him or her ways to get help.
The resources sent to the person who posted something concerning will include an expanded set of options. People can now choose to reach out to a friend, contact a helpline, or see tips and support. Instagram has partnerships with over 40 helpline organizations around the world, including AASRA and The Live Love Laugh Foundation in India.
Specifics about the tools
We are announcing updated tools that provide critical resources for people who may be thinking about self-injury, as well as resources for their concerned friends and family.
We are offering the expanded options – talk to a friend, contact a helpline, or see tips – to everyone around the world.
We are launching local “Can We Help” resources in the UK, US, and CAN to start. Outside these countries, users will be directed to general self-injury/crisis services.
Depending on which country someone is located in, over 40 organizations providing local crisis services are available in the new experience and we will continue to add new organizations as they become available.
We worked with mental health organizations, primarily Forefront, led by academic researchers at the University of Washington, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and Dr. Nancy Zucker, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke. Other organizations including The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Save.org (US), Samaritans (UK), and beyondblue and headspace (Australia) provided valuable input. We also consulted with people with real-life experience with eating disorders, self-injury or suicide.
Mental health experts emphasized 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. Our tools aim to provide resources to both the person in distress and the friends and family who want to help.
How the tools work:
If someone on Instagram sees a direct threat of suicide or self-injury, we encourage them to contact local emergency services immediately. We also give them options to reach out to the friend they are concerned about, see information about how to support the person, and to report any troubling content to us.
We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review these reports. They prioritize the most serious reports and respond quickly.
For those who may need support, we offer support and resources the next time they take an action on Instagram.
Besides encouraging them to connect with a helpline, we now also give them the option of reaching out to a friend and provide tips on how they can work through these feelings. Depending on where someone is located, we have partnerships with over 40 helpline organizations around the world.
In addition, if someone searches for a hashtag associated with self-injury (e.g.- #imnotok) , we offer support options before they are able to view the content.
By introducing various new tools and resources, Instagram is gearing up to tap the real-world scenario of the world. This shows how much impact social media can have one one’s life if used to the full potential.
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