May is Mental Health Month! As Oaks Integrated Care joins the Instagram community, we want to shed light on the strides the social media platform has taken to support mental health.
Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. Recognizing their ability to offer help and support, the photo sharing app has stepped forward in an effort to better the mental health of their users. Recently they introduced a new tool aimed at helping users who suffer from mental illness and depression through encouragement from friends and family.
1 in 5 people experience mental illness in a given year according to the World Health Organization and an estimated 350 million people suffer from depression. To offer support, Instagram’s new feature allows you to anonymously flag images should you come across something concerning in your feed. A message will then be sent to the account of the friend who posted the photo. This message has been crafted by organizations such as the National Eating Disorders Association and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, to ensure the message is worded in the best way to help rather than seem invasive.
The message will read: “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.” This message is followed by different options for the individual to reach out to mental health experts.
Instagram also deleted triggers from their app. If you search a hashtag associated with self-harm you will notice that most have been hidden. Those that still exist now lead to support options for the user. This new feature will allow struggling individuals to understand that someone is taking notice and cares about their well-being. Instagram also offers various accounts that provide mental health resources and uplifting messages of support.
At Oaks Integrated Care our role remains not just to provide mental health services but to bring awareness to the mental health issues that affect us all at some point in our lives. To learn more about our services, visit https://oaksintcare.org/services/ or call our Access Center 1-800-963-3377.