Snapchat Launches 'Here For You' Feature To Address Mental Health

Kavisha Mody , 14 Jul 2020
Snapchat Feature 'Here For You' (Source: Yahoo News)
Snapchat Feature ‘Here For You’ (Source: Yahoo News)

The pandemic followed by the nationwide lockdown was something no one saw coming. The current uncertainty has taken a toll on the mental health of multiple people. Snapchat, out of all brands is one of the first companies to address the problem of growing mental health issues among youngsters. Bearing this in mind, Snap Inc. finally rolled out their ‘well-being’ focused feature ‘Here For You‘ in India on the 13th of July!

What Is ‘Here For You

Snapchat 'Here For You' (Source; Snapchat)
Snapchat ‘Here For You’ (Source; Snapchat)

The main idea behind launching ‘Here For You‘ is to provide in-app support to Snapchat users who are feeling any kind of mental or emotional issue. There are multiple articles and reading material available on various mental health concerns, which you can read to either help yourself or your friends/relatives. Snap Inc. partnered up with Mariwala Health Initiative and the Manas Foundation in order to create resources revolving around topics anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicide, or other general mental health concerns. We believe this is a great step taken by Snapchat in order to reach out to their community and normalise talking about mental health!

The reason behind launching this feature in India

According to Snapchat, extensive research was conducted last year to show them how Snapchatters and their friends experience mental health issues. They found out that majority of the users were feeling some form of stress or anxiety and they would confide in their friends rather than health professionals in the first go. This isn’t surprising at all because we tend to spend most of our time with friends, routine activities such as studying, chatting and hanging out with friends can help combat loneliness and emotional crisis. The youth today is also progressively sensitive about mental health and are deeply interested in learning more about it so they can reach out to their friends who are going through something. Here’s what Jennifer Park Stout, VP of Global Public Policy, Snap had to say,

At Snap, we have always been inspired by the power real friendships have in supporting health and happiness. Now more than ever, in a socially distanced world, we see friendship and connection is vital to our wellbeing. Here For You was designed to empower our community with resources to help themselves, as well as educate on how to spot signs in loved ones. It’s great to partner with Mariwala Health Initiative and the Manas Foundation to do this – organisations with a great wealth of experience and expertise in India

Mariwala Health Initiative and Manas Foundation

To launch a feature like ‘Here For You‘ in India, Snap Inc. surely required backing in terms of professional resources. The Mariwala Health Initiative and Manas Foundation are the first partners in India who are providing complete support in terms of professional resources used to overcome (or address) concerns like depression, anxiety, loneliness and more. Here’s what Raj Mariwala, Director, Mariwala Health Initiative has to say,

These are unprecedented times. COVID-19 has changed how we live our lives, how we work or study, how we connect with each other and more. We are collectively experiencing feelings of worry, stress, tension, anxiety, numbness, sadness – which are all routine responses to periods of crises. It is therefore crucial to have mental health resources available and accessible for those experiencing distress. Platforms like Snapchat provide a powerful medium to disseminate these resources. Our videos discuss how to deal with stress and anxiety, how to support a loved one experiencing distress and ways to enhance mental well-being through mindfulness/grounding exercises

Here’s what Naveen Kumar, Trustee & Psychologist, Manas Foundation. has to say, 

For over two decades we have been striving to demystify mental health in India. Students, facing school and college closures, are missing out on robust dialogues, outdoors, experiential learning and interpersonal interactions that add to their well-being. For many, the loss of routine is also leading to erratic eating and sleeping schedules; which is directly linked to one’s mental health. This launch is a unique opportunity for users to relate with mental health as part of their everyday life. We want to tell them that it is ok to talk about mental health and Snapchat and Manas are ‘here for you’

According to us, Snap Inc. walked an extra mile to design and launch this feature, with the sole aim of educating and empowering the community. We encourage everyone to check it out so you can not only improve your knowledge but also be able to reach out to your friends’ effectivity!

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