Facebook Introduces New Tools Centered Around Mental Health

Sep 2020

With three more months to go in what has been described as one of the worst years in recent modern history, the 2020 memes are still going strong. They have been used to compare this unprecedented time to a dumpster fire, a toothpaste flavored bag of chips and dubbed March the longest month ever recorded. But while many of us have survived quarantine using humor and a few extra glasses of wine, the reality is — it really has been hard.

Man giving hand to depressed woman,Psychiatrist holding hands patient,Meantal health care concept,Selective focus

With so many of us taking to social media to stay connected during the COVID-19 lockdown, Facebook has taken notice of an important issue. The social media platform announced new tools centered around mental health support and released this statement:

“Since the pandemic began, we have taken a number of additional steps to keep people safe, including providing people with tips we developed with global experts, localized resources and easy access to over 100 local crisis helplines through our COVID-19 Information Center. Experts have made clear that making these tips and resources easier to find is key to those seeking help.”

New Rules

The new rules will be used to implement restrictions on content that may relate to self-harm but don’t currently violate regulations such as depressing quotes or memes. While this may be walking a fine line for Facebook, the social media giant is working with a number of mental health organizations to improve its approach on this front. This means we could see changes to the parameters surrounding content over the next few months.

New Support

Facebook also plans to add a real-time assistance option via Messenger chat. “Getting people help in real time is especially important when they are in distress. In the coming months, we’ll make it easier for people to talk in real time with trained crisis and mental health support volunteers over Messenger,” according to Facebook. Currently, 1.3 billion people use Facebook’s Messenger app.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on an often stigmatized topic. 


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