Mental health has become a growing concern around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Snap Inc partnered up with Manas Foundation and Mariwala Health Initiative and rolled out ‘Here For You’ in India which is an in-app feature that provides support to people going through an emotional crisis by offering resources built around anxiety, depression and suicide.

The Content aims at raising awareness about mental well-being to empower users to take care of themselves and their friends. It was built after research conducted on the platform that concluded with the finding that most Snapchatters would find more comfort in talking to their friends about stress or anxiety instead of talking to a professional or their parents. The same went for other issues like loneliness, eating disorders and depression. The research also found that more and more people want to talk about and better understand such issues.

The feature can be accessed by searching for keywords like ‘anxiety’,  ‘loneliness’, ‘mental health’, ‘eating disorder’, ‘suicide’, ‘wellbeing’, and ‘depression’, etc. Here For You has expert advice on the symptoms and exercises related to mental health issues and the experts also answer the FAQs about the same. After this, users are given information about the Manas Foundation and Mariwala Health Initiative so that they can directly contact expert counsellors for help.

Raj Mariwala, Director at Mariwala Health Initiative stated, “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.”

Naveen Kumar, Trustee & Psychologist at Manas Foundation remarked, “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.”

Jennifer Park Stout, VP of Global Public Policy at Snap said, “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.”