Facebook Announces New Mental Health Resources, Tools Across Apps

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Social networking giant Facebook has announced new mental health resources, tools, and programming across its apps, ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10.

“Facebook is working with mental health experts and organisations around the world to connect people with the support they need, and we’re launching new content and tools to encourage people to start conversations about mental health,” the tech giant said in a blog post on Thursday.

Amid concerns of social networking giant’s effect on children’s mental well-being, it opened a new ‘Emotional Health’ resource center on Facebook.

The center includes resource cards on tips for creating positive mental health and guides to provide equitable access to mental health support to vulnerable communities such as Black, Latino and Asian among others.

Recently, Facebook was criticized by a former employee in the US Congress about the negative effects of its platforms on children’s mental health.

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On WhatsApp, UNICEF launched a new global mental health chatbot to offer tips for communicating what’s on a person’s mind, breaking down stigmas, and starting a conversation with someone you are concerned about.

Further, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) health alert chatbot on WhatsApp will provide mental health and wellbeing resources like exercises to help reduce stress. Regional helplines, including a Loneliness Advice chatbot developed by the Connection Coalition in the UK, are also available.

On Messenger, the tech giant worked with WHO and acclaimed illustrator Caleb Boyles to develop the “I Care For You” sticker pack to help kick start conversations when the words are hard to find, the blogpost said.

“On World Mental Health Day and beyond, WHO is working with partners to raise awareness about the importance of mental health care, as well as to encourage people to open up, seek help, or offer support to those loved ones who may need it” added Gabriella Stern, WHO Director of Communications, in the post.

The tech giant has also recently introduced a new suicide prevention toolkit, which has resources for parents, educators, youth, and media on how to safely discuss suicide challenges.

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