Instagram unveils #HereForYou mental health awareness campaign

Elyse Fox, who started The Sad Girls Club page, is featured in the campaign

Instagram has chosen to shine a light on mental health issues, launching a campaign which aims to underline the people sharing their mental health stories on the platform.

The Facebook-owned company's #HereForYou project seeks to encourage users to use the hashtag to open up about their own struggles with mental health and kickstart a global conversation.

"Every day on Instagram, we see people share their mental health journeys and connect with communities of support," said the app's co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom in a blog post. "From dedicated accounts around an issue to unique hashtags adopted by groups, these communities are helping to make illnesses that are often invisible to friends and family visible through photos and videos."

As such, Instagram has created a video campaign designed to showcase how the communities and people within its walls deal with different issues and in doing so remove the stigma around mental health by discussing it openly. The ad features three different members who deal with different challenges - including depression and eating disorders - and directs viewers to a website to help them find suitable mental health resources on Instagram.

Filmmaker Elyse Fox, who started The Sad Girls Club page as a way to document her depression, is featured in the moving spot, as well as Pretty Little Liars actress Troian Bellisario, who relays her struggle with anorexia.

The move comes during Mental Health Awareness Month, but is part of a wider effort by the platform, following on from new features it introduced in 2016 which allow users to connect people to vital mental health resources near them. The app also works closely with groups such as Crisis Text Line, National Eating Disorder Association and Samaritans.

"We are committed to fostering a safer, kinder community and highlighting these inspiring voices," said Systrom.

Last year, Instagram sought to crack down on online abuse with a filter that lets people block abusive or inappropriate comments from appearing under their snaps.

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