New updates from Facebook and Instagram on Mental Health Resilience
By Ajit Mohan, Managing Director and Vice-President, Facebook India
COVID-19 has exacerbated mental health challenges around the world. As we continue to adjust to new routines, challenges of isolation and health concerns, we all need support to take care of our own mental and emotional wellbeing along with that of our families, friends, colleagues, and those around us. In these challenging times, supporting people with access to well-being resources to manage stress, and connect to appropriate support communities are central to developing the much-needed emotional resilience.
As a platform where millions of people come to connect each day with friends, family and communities, we have a responsibility to connect them to reliable authoritative information and resources to support their wellbeing.
A centralized resource center: Our COVID-19 Information Center, and Emotional Health, a centralized resource center launched this week, ahead of the Mental Health Day on the Facebook app, provides people with access to tips and information from leading experts. Emotional Health is now available with locally relevant information from our Indian partners It's OK to Talk, iCALL Psychosocial Helpline (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), and The Live Love Laugh Foundation to provide mental health helplines and resources catering to the local needs of users.
8 new Well-being Guides: We have also launched eight new wellbeing guides on Instagram, along with partners such as The Mind Clan, MPower Minds, The Queer Muslim Project, We The Young India and Yuvaa: Care for your mental health, Ease into therapy, Tackling anxiety, Self care, Identifying common mental health disorders, Radical Loving and Self-Care, Dealing with Bullying on the internet, Stories to Heal and Mental Health Awareness.
‘The Real Talk’ content series with Under25 and The Artidote: Today on Mental Health Day, Instagram is launching a ‘The Real Talk’ content series in partnership with the Under25 community and The Artidote. It’s a three-part video series, hosted by the founder of The Artidote, Jovanny Ferreyra, a global mental health advocate.
New well-being features: On Instagram’s 10th birthday, we announced two new well-being features: Hiding Potentially Offensive Comments, that is a test to automatically hide comments similar to others that have been reported; and Expanding Nudge Warnings to include an additional warning when people repeatedly attempt to post comments that might be offensive
People also come to our platforms to share content that is meaningful. We thank our creators and partners who are engaging with our communities on Facebook and Instagram on this important issue.
While mental health tools, resources and community guidelines are powerful and necessary components of making the social media experience a positive one, the majority of interaction still happens between members of a community. More than six million people in APAC are part of over 35,000 active groups dedicated to mindfulness and mental well-being. Whether connecting to Facebook Groups like Yoga and Meditation, Positive Psychology, Emotional Support (Quotes for Inspiration), and Zen Mindfulness, or a local community group, we want to support our communities to look out for one another.
And at an individual level, as we face an indefinite time frame for normalcy to resume, we must take steps towards self-care.
Let’s be aware of our own emotions, and acknowledge the impact of this situation on our lives. Reach out for help, without hesitation and any inhibition.
Let’s be sensitive to signs and signals from people around us needing help.
Leverage resources/support being provided.
Remember, this situation is likely to continue for some more time. So be kind to yourself. Slow down. Take time off to destress, take care of family or simply relax.
We will continue to build products, collaborate with partners and support the community. For more about Facebook’s initiatives and programs, please read the newsroom post Connecting People to Mental Health Resources Around the World