Snapchat has partnered with Mariwala Health Initiative and The Manas Foundation to provide in-app mental health resources under Here For You.
Snap Inc. has launched Here for You in India, a feature that provides in-app support to Snapchatters who may be experiencing mental health or emotional crisis or those who want to learn more about these issues in order to help friends. Mariwala Health Initiative and the Manas Foundation are the first partners in India, who have created resources around anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicide and general mental health.
The creation of Here for You was informed by research conducted late last year into how Snapchatters and their friends experience mental health. Snapchat found an overwhelming majority of Snapchatters experience feelings of stress and anxiety and that their friends are the first people they turn to when they need help, more than professionals – or even their parents. They also see their friends as the most positive force in their lives – consistent with other studies that have shown that spending time with friends can be one of the most effective ways to combat feelings of loneliness and depression. The research also revealed that many young people are deeply interested in understanding these issues, and how they can support friends who are struggling with them.
“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,” said Jennifer Park Stout, VP of Global Public Policy, Snap.
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“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,” said Raj Mariwala, Director, Mariwala Health Initiative.
“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 to 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,” said Naveen Kumar, Trustee & Psychologist, Manas Foundation.
Here For You is now available to Snapchatters in India. They can access resources by searching for words such as ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’, ‘loneliness’, ‘suicide’, ‘mental health’ and ‘wellbeing’. The content covers topics such as ways to cope with mental health issues and how to spot signs in loved ones, as well as questions from the community, answered by clinical psychologists and mental health professionals. Each ends with further information on the Manas Foundation and Mariwala Health Initiative and advice on how to contact a trained counsellor directly for help.
The Here For You feature is part of a concerted effort designed to educate and empower the Snapchat community to look after themselves, and support friends who might be struggling with their own social and emotional wellbeing. Other features announced recently at Snap’s Partner Summit in June include a partnership with Headspace, new Snap Originals and expanded in-app