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Snapchat rolls out Here For You mental health support tool for Indian users

Snapchat had launched Here For You tool back in February to help users deal with mental health issues. In the backdrop of COVID 19, it is now rolling out for Indian users.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | July 13, 2020 | Updated 15:06 IST

Highlights

  • Snapchat is rolling out its mental health tool Here For You for Indian users.
  • Mental health institutes in India have partnered with Snapchat to help users cope with distress.
  • Snapchatters can get access to resources by searching for words such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc.

Snapchat launched a mental health tool called Here For You in February to coincide with Safer Internet Day. It is now rolling out for Indian users. The aim of introducing this tool is to help people who seem prone to mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and anorexia. The feature will come in handy to assist users when they are dealing with constant fear and anxiety issues in the backdrop of COVID 19.

Snapchat undertook research to better understand how users understand and experience mental health, and its impact on their lives. It found that many users experienced stress, anxiety and depression. The study also found that users found friendship as a positive force to combat these feelings. The research study also found that respondents expressed the desire to understand these issues better in order to support friends who may be struggling.

Jennifer Park Stout, VP of Global Public Policy, Snap, in a statement said, "We sped up the initial launch of Here For You in February because we recognised that in the wake of coronavirus, our global community needed support. We hope that the resources we launch today better empower them to take positive steps forward when it comes to wellbeing."

Mental health institutes in India have partnered with Snapchat and covered topics that help users cope with distress. Mariwala Health Initiative and Manas Foundation have created resources around anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicide, and general mental health to assist Snapchat users.

"Our videos discuss how to deal with stress and anxiety, how to support a loved one experiencing distress and ways to enhance mental well-being through mindfulness/grounding exercises," Raj Mariwala, Director, Mariwala Health Initiative told IANS.

When a Snapchat user searches for topics like depression, anxiety, grief, stress or thinspo (short for thinspiration which promotes anorexia), the app will intervene and help the user. It will direct its users to content written by experts to help them.

Snapchatters in India can get access to resources by searching for words such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicide, mental health and wellbeing.

Alternatively, Snapchat users can go to the search bar and type Here For You if they want to access the tool directly. The Indian version should soon be visible for users in case it is not currently accessible.

Here For You covers topics like eating disorders, guides to help friends staying safe from abuse, getting help when the home is not safe.

The Here For You tool also helps people identify signs of mental health issues in their loved ones, ways to cope with mental health issues, as well as questions from the community, answered by clinical psychologists and mental health professionals.

Snapchat has also enabled a special edition of Here For You for topics about COVID 19. The tool covers topics like social distancing, messages from experts, methods to cope, and prevent COVID 19.

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