More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, out of which 8.75% are women and 5.3% are men. Precisely, it is estimated that around 15% of adults are likely to suffer from depression at some point in their life. But still, the sad reality is that mental health is a taboo here in India. 

Understanding the gravity of rising depression rates in the world, Instagram has come forward to help out the ones who need help in a very innovative way. The photo-sharing app has a user base of around 1 billion and is becoming the most popular social networking site among youth. 

Thus, the idea of reaching out to the masses and making them aware of depression is very well aligned with this new feature.       

How Does This Feature Work?

Instagram has been very empathetic about its users and is very cautious about what type of content people see on this app.

Considering the fact that it’s a tough time for all of us and social media is turning into a really toxic place, Instagram came up with the idea of letting people know that they don’t have to deal with this alone.   

As per this update, every time you search the word “Depression” or anything related to depression, self-harm, suicide, Instagram will display a friendly popup before showing you any posts related to the same.

The pop-up comes with 3 options –

Get Support: This is the ultimate way to reach out to people struggling with mental health. As it is rightly said, “Help will be given to those who seek it.” Under the “Get Support” tab, Instagram readily offers help to people who are struggling with depression. 

This tab leads you to another web page where you can find things to do which make a depressed person feel better.

Not only this, but the external link also offers the option to seek a professional or talk to an expert. Through this feature, Instagram is helping people who are not vocal about their mental health issues and struggle in silence. 

Show Posts: In order to respect the user’s privacy and continue the purpose of photo-sharing, Instagram asks the user if they don’t want any support and are just here to look at posts related to depression. Clicking on this option will lead you to a home page that displays all the posts and photos that has #depression attached to it.

Cancel: Making sure that you don’t end up in a situation you don’t want to be in, Instagram allows the user to cancel the search for depression and return back to its feed by tapping the “Cancel” option.

Read Also: Here’s How Instagram Is Fighting Fake News With Its New Flagging Tool  

A Great Initiative

The stigma around mental health is really saddening and hence these little steps towards eradicating the taboo around depression help a lot. The popularity of Instagram has earned itself a privilege to reach out to its users and Instagram is apparently killing at it.

In past years also, the photo-sharing app had come up with innovative ideas to help those who suffer from mental health issues. In its previous updates, Instagram allowed users to flag photos of their friends and let Instagram know that they might need support.

The flagging is done anonymously and thus the person can reach out for help while in complete hiding.

Even Facebook’s suicide prevention tool has helped a lot of people and is a success when it comes to reaching out to the masses. Pinterest is also working along similar lines of offering help to people who might be struggling with a mental health issue. 

It is good to see such huge platforms taking the initiative to do something for the welfare of its people and are not wholly commercial at the core. Moreover, spreading awareness in such a discreet way also promises to provide comfort and privacy to the victim.

We are hopeful to see that this new feature works in a positive way and is able to help the ones in need, eventually bringing a change.

After all, the power of social media should not be underestimated!

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Instagram, Wired + more

Find the Blogger: @ZehraYameena

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