As if a global pandemic wasn't hard enough in itself, COVID-19 has opened up the floodgates to mental health challenges around the world. With global mental health issues on the rise, medical experts are teaming up with social media platforms to raise awareness and provide helpful resources to those in need.
Just in time for World Mental Health Day, Facebook announced the launch of its new Emotional Health resource center.
"We’ve been working with leading authorities around the world — like NAMI, Kids Help Phone and It’s OK to Talk — to invest in the critical areas of mental health support, including handling financial stress, parenting support, coping with loss and grief, managing substance use and taking care of overall emotional health. Today we’re introducing Emotional Health, a centralized resource center on the Facebook app with tips and information from leading experts."
The feature makes it easy for people to connect to the expert support they need when struggling with mental health issues. Facebook teamed up with mental health professionals to create a space that provides real value in challenging times. Together, they will continue to expand on the information and resources provided as they learn more about current needs.
Here are a few new mental health resources available (or soon-to-be-available) that you can check out:
- World Health Organization Digital Stress Management Guide on WhatsApp (WHO Health Alert chatbot)
- WHO sticker pack on Messenger to facilitate conversations around mental health
- Crisis Support Over Messenger for suicide and self-harm prevention help by Crisis Text Line
- Mental Well-Being Guides on Instagram
- Peace of Mind with Taraji on Facebook Watch (an original series to shine light on mental health challenges facing people today)
In addition to the new Emotional Health resources, Facebook is now investing heavily in research to better understand how social media impacts our mental health. Facebook has partnered with The Aspen Institute "to advance the collective understanding of loneliness, social connection, technology and how they all intersect." Together, they published their first summary report of their findings: Lessons in Loneliness.
Facebook will continue working with mental health professionals and conducting research in an effort to identify
the tipping point between feel-good social media activity and the spiraling of toxic feelings.
Many people view social media as a major driver of rising mental health issues, but with benefits such as long-distance human connection and online communities, we can easily argue the opposite. We can evaluate the pros and cons, but the fact is Facebook isn't going anywhere any time soon. At least we can take comfort in seeing the company face these critical issues head-on.