The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a heavy impact on people’s mental health all around the world. Even UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that psychological suffering increased globally as he urged governments, civil society, and health authorities to address mental health needs urgently. Now, social media giant Facebook has come up with a way of addressing people’s increasing distress by setting up an emotional health resource center that comes with expert guides and updated information.
According to Facebook, the center will make it easier for people to seek help and be informed correctly. According to a company blog, the platform has joined hands with bodies like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Kids Help Phone, and It’s OK to Talk to provide mental health support. The support includes “handling financial stress, parenting support, coping with loss and grief, managing substance use, and taking care of overall emotional health.”
The “centralized resource center” will be available inside the Facebook app or website where users will be able to ‘connect with someone,’ ‘explore topics’ ‘contact a helpline’ or ‘talk with a friend.’ The topics include tips on how to take care of yourself, doing essential work, and how to navigate grief and loss.
The feature is being circulated globally, and the company says that “over time [they] will build on the features and topic areas based on the guidance of [they’re] global and national partners.”
Apps like WhatsApp and Messenger are also getting updated features to tackle poor mental health. On the WHO Health Alert chatbot present on WhatsApp, now users will get access to a ‘World Health Organization Digital Stress Management Guide’ that talks about simple techniques designed to reduce stress.
Messenger will get a new sticker pack that has been created with WHO so that topics of mental health can be easily brought in conversations. Instagram is also getting two new mental health guides that will help teens understand how their time online affects them and advise on how “men can talk about mental health without shame.”