Instagram launches mental health feature

Jessica Kim Cohen - Print  | 

Instagram now allows app users to anonymously flag posts from those they believe are at risk for an eating disorder, self-harm or even suicide, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

A team of employees will review flagged posts 24 hours a day. "We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review these reports," said Instagram spokeswoman Marni Tomljanovic, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "They prioritize the most serious reports and respond quickly."

As part of the response, Instagram will send the user a message, which reads, "Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we'd like to help." The app goes on to offer three options: talk to a friend, contact a helpline or get tips and support.

The report notes that Instagram has partnered with more than 40 mental health groups to develop the new tool, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Eating Disorders Association.

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