Today, we’re announcing several initiatives across our apps, in collaboration with leading mental health authorities, to make it easier for people to get the support they need for themselves and others who might be struggling.
New Emotional Health Resource Center With Expert Guides and Information
Experts agree that COVID-19 has exacerbated mental health challenges around the world, and the repercussions will be felt for years to come. We’ve been working with leading authorities around the world — like NAMI, Kids Help Phone and It’s OK to Talk — to invest in the critical areas of mental health support, including handling financial stress, parenting support, coping with loss and grief, managing substance use and taking care of overall emotional health. Today we’re introducing Emotional Health, a centralized resource center on the Facebook app with tips and information from leading experts. The resource will be available globally, with locally relevant information from mental health officials. Over time we will build on the features and topic areas based on the guidance of our global and national partners.
Connecting People to Services
Across our apps, we’re rolling out a number of features to connect people to expert support and resources including:
- The World Health Organization Digital Stress Management Guide, which provides easy-to-follow techniques designed to reduce stress and promote mental well-being, now available on the WHO Health Alert chatbot on WhatsApp
- A sticker pack available on Messenger designed with the WHO, to facilitate conversations around mental health that can lead to support
- Suicide and self harm prevention through our expanded partnership with Crisis Text Line to provide Crisis Support Over Messenger
- New mental well-being guides on Instagram, including one created in collaboration with The Jed Foundation to help teens understand how their time online may impact their emotional well-being, and one from the Korea Suicide Prevention Center that provides guidance on how men can talk about mental health without shame.
“Making information about mental health more accessible is extremely important. At the World Health Organization, we are pleased to be collaborating with Facebook in support of that goal for this year’s World Mental Health Day,” said Gabriella Stern, WHO Director of Communications.
New Facebook Watch Show Focused on Mental Health
Facebook has greenlit Peace of Mind with Taraji (working title), a new talk show for Facebook Watch with Golden Globe Award-Winning Actress Taraji P. Henson and co-hosted with her longtime best friend Tracie Jade Jenkins, who is the Executive Director of Henson’s Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. The original series will shine a light on the mental health challenges facing people today – particularly those in the Black community. Through personal interviews with celebrities, experts and everyday people, the series will help show how to provide support, bring awareness and help eliminate the stigmas of mental health issues. Set to premiere later this year, each episode will focus on a different mental health topic, and multiple content clips will be released per week.
Partnering With Experts To Advance Research
The cornerstone of supporting people’s emotional health is the research to help us understand areas like healthy social connections, loneliness and mental health.
Facebook and The Aspen Institute have collaborated to advance the collective understanding of loneliness, social connection, technology and how they all intersect. This effort has brought together more than 60 cross-sector experts — from academia, health, technology, nonprofit and government — to share research and identify gaps to inform future research and potential solutions.
Today, we are launching a summary report of those findings. Moving forward, The Aspen Institute and Facebook will host a second series of roundtables to go deeper with international experts to build on this work.
On Instagram, we know that people can feel a pressure to present a perfect image of themselves. But we also know that many people have found communities of support and inspiration. We’re conducting research to better understand the tipping point between inspiration and feeling good — and the pressure to live up to a certain standard.
We’ll also host a listening session with mental health experts to understand how they view social comparison on Instagram and what programs, resources and tools we can put in place to help people — especially young people — manage these pressures.