The new feature will allow users to anonymously flag a photo when they think someone needs help. Already Instagram blocks hashtags that encourage self-harm, but if someone searches these, they will also get a message that refers them to an organization that can help them.
Once someone flags a photo, the person will receive a message that 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.”
“We listen to mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress. At the same time, we understand friends and family often want to offer support but don’t know how best to reach out,” said Instagram’s COO Marne Levine to Seventeen. “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.”
Instagram has teamed up with organization such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, National Eating Disorders Association, and others.