Pinterest is rolling out a new set of self-help tools which are designed to assist users who are dealing with mental health issues by offering quick exercises that they can follow along with, right from the app.
As you can see in the example above, the above alert will be triggered by related searches.
As explained by Pinterest:
"People will see a prompt to explore these resources when they search for things like “stress quotes,” “work anxiety” or other terms that indicate they might be feeling down. The experience is not meant to replace professional care, but it may help someone if they need support."
Pinterest says that its users conduct "millions of searches" related to emotional health on the platform every year, which is what prompted this new initiative.
Whenever a user clicks on one of the listed resources, they'll be given a guided, swipeable collection of steps to take to go through each exercise.
Mental health has rightfully become a key focus for social media apps in recent times, with various reports showing that social media usage itself can be linked to psychological harm. Aside from the direct impacts, social platforms also now have huge reach, giving them increased capacity to help those in need - particularly vulnerable people who may feel alone, and may be using social apps as a key means to connect.
As such, this is a great initiative from Pinterest. As Pinterest notes, these simple tools are not designed to replace professional care, while searches related to self-harm will still be routed to relevant off-platform resources. But these quick, immediate response activities may help users in need at different times, providing another way to help ease the stress and provide guidance - as opposed to basic keyword search results.
I wouldn't be surprised to see other platforms follow suit in the coming months.
The new tools will be rolled out to US users in the coming weeks, with a broader expansion to follow.