The photo-based social network Instagram has launched a new feature which allows users to report a post made by someone they are connected to on the network, if they have cause to be concerned about their welfare.
This self-harm prevention tool, which began to be rolled out to users on Monday, will enable Instagram to be immediately notified if a post is flagged in this way and send a message to the user who posted it.
This message will inform them that someone saw the post and is concerned about them and then tells the user they are not alone and that, if they are going through a difficult time, it can help.
The user is then given the option of tapping on a "See Support Resources" button, which if tapped, takes him or her to a new screen, displaying various help options, such as messaging a friend or contacting a helpline.
Image credit: Instagram
Instagram COO Marne Levine told teenage site Seventeen: "We understand friends and family often want to offer support but don't know how to reach out. These tools are designed to let you know that you are surrounded by a community that cares about you, at a moment when you might most need that reminder." (1)
To create the new feature, Instagram collaborated with the National Eating Disorders Association and The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Levine said "We listen to mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for this who may be in distress."