Right on cue for World Mental Health Day, Facebook has announced the launch of a new Emotional Support centre for users struggling with challenges imposed by COVID-19.
Understandably, physical health is at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the moment.
Though we appear to have navigated the first initial peak of COVID-19, the immediate safety of ourselves and our fellow citizens remains the priority. However, as national health services begin to take a much-needed breather, mental health services are being sought out in increasing demand.
By and large, the Western world has adapted pretty well to the restrictions imposed by national lockdowns. Technology has become the substitute for our daily rigmaroles, helping us shop, study, workout, and most importantly maintain a semblance of a social life in a time where being together in close proximity isn’t the smartest idea.
That’s not to demean the impact of social distancing on people’s mental health. As the necessary restrictions stretched from weeks to months, clienteles for video counselling services and mental health helplines have steadily risen with them. Economic fallout and sudden job losses have contributed to higher levels of anxiety and depression globally, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions have had their coping mechanisms raptured by social constraints.
With World Mental Health Day landing this week, social media platforms are teaming up with medical experts to raise awareness and make resources more widely accessible for those yet to seek out professional help. On that front, Facebook’s Emotional Health platform could become the catalyst for a more centralised type of mental support instantly available on the biggest social media platforms.
Expanding on established partnerships with health authorities like NAMI, It’s OK to Talk, and Kids Help Phone, Facebook has created a hub of easy-to-digest information on the full A to Z of mental health issues, whilst also providing expert guidance and actionable steps for those struggling in lockdown.
Now services for #mentalhealth can be as easy as opening your @Facebook or @WhatsApp. The Emotional Health resource center will connect users with support in the form of conversation stickers, tips, and direct help. #mentalhealthawarenessweek https://t.co/POhQnjOZfH
— Healthcare Hive (@healthcare_hive) October 7, 2020