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Snapchat’s new mental health tool will offer helpful intervention

Here For You will surface content from mental health experts

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Snapchat is launching a search tool called Here For You that will surface “safety resources” from mental health experts when users search for sensitive topics like anxiety, depression, suicide, and bullying, the company announced Tuesday.

For instance, if a user searched for “thinspo” (content that may skew to be pro-anorexia), the search results would “intervene” with content by experts, Fast Company reports. While parent company Snap did not elaborate on how often these kinds of searches occur on Snapchat, the platform has one of the youngest audiences of any social media platform. It reaches 90 percent of 13- to 24-year-olds, a group who may be most vulnerable to bullying or suggestive content.

“Snapchat was built with privacy at its core — starting with ephemerality — and designed to let people be themselves, without the pressure of being judged by others,” according to the company’s blog post.

As Axios points out, Snap is not the first social media platform to put resources into mental health and anti-bullying initiatives. Instagram rolled out a new “Restrict” mode last year that allows users to block abusive or harassing comments so nobody else can see them. And Pinterest provides “emotional wellness activities” when its users search the platform for topics like “stress” or “anxiety.”

Snap says it plans to roll out the Here For You tool in the coming weeks.