Chinese short video streaming platform, TikTok has launched a new set of resources to provide support for users who may be undergoing mental health issues, particularly associated with eating disorders, self-harm, and suicide. First off, the platform is expanding its well-being guides to support people who choose to share their personal experiences on the platform.
As explained by TikTok: “While we don’t allow content that promotes, glorifies, or normalizes suicide, self-harm, or eating disorders, we do support people who choose to share their experiences to raise awareness and help others who might be struggling with mental health issues and find support among our community using these new resources.”
The New Guides are Available in TikTok’s Safety Center
Moreover, the said new mental health issues guides are now available in TikTok’s Safety Center, offering suggestions to help users communicate their experiences, as well as how to responsibly interact with others who may be grappling or in crisis.
Furthermore, TikTok is also highlighting a new set of curated content from its associate organizations in-app, providing more information, up-front, about important well-being issues using the latest resources to combat mental illness. The latest TikTok programming is currently live and will be running through September 16th.
The New Resources to Fight Mental Health Issues Will be Rolled Out Globally
The new resources concerning the mental health issues, which the company stated will be launched worldwide in the coming months, include an elaborated guide on eating disorders and a feature that will lead users to local support, such as a Crisis Text Line if they search for the terms such as suicide.
Instagram Affecting the Mental Health of its Several Teenage Users
The company’s announcement came after The Wall Street Journal reported that Instagram has repeatedly found that in certain situations its platform could be harmful to the mental health of its teenage users.
As per the report, the company has been analyzing the influence of the app on its younger users’ mental wellbeing for at least two years. The report further states that the research had repeatedly found it is harmful for a large proportion of users, especially teenage girls.
In a lengthy statement, Instagram acknowledged the existence of research reported by The Wall Street Journal but said the story “focuses on a limited set of findings and casts them in a negative light”.