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Pinterest, Snapchat and TikTok roll out mental health initiatives as user confidence drops


By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

October 19, 2021 | 6 min read

The Drum’s social media executive Amy Houston assesses what platforms such as Pinterest, TikTok and Snapchat are doing to promote mental wellbeing online in a time where users’ confidence in social media is low.

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Social media platforms have launched a host of initiatives to boost mental wellbeing

Social media’s impact on people’s mental health has been a hotly-debated topic for years, and with the recent Facebook revelations around its negative impact on young people’s self-esteem, this important conversation is very much at the forefront of many users’ minds.

No social media platform is going to be perfect for every user, but it is important that companies take mental health awareness seriously and continue to push for safer, more inclusive and positive online spaces.

Finding a community of like-minded thinkers online can be extremely important for many people using social media – especially in times where we haven’t been able to see each other in real life. Keeping up with the latest platform updates and initiatives can feel overwhelming, so I’ve looked into a few mental health drives that I think show positive steps forward in the online world.

Pinterest Havens

At Pinterest, they are on a mission to “to help people create a life they love” and have positioned themselves as a positive corner of the internet.

In honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10, it introduced the anti-burnout oasis Pinterest Havens. The new project is an on- and offline destination exploring the relationship between mental health and rest. Inspired by the Pinterest Predicts trend “invest in rest,” Havens will include a collection of relaxing imagery and idea pins about rest from the creators of the platform. Employees from Pinside Out, Pinterest’s internal mental health community, also co-curated content in the Haven.

Havens is designed to help you feel inspired and recharge. Over the past year Pinterest has seen an increase in ‘pinners’ searching for self-care inspiration – ‘Sunday reset routine’ is up 7x, destressing tips is up 12.7x and resting quotes is up by 3.6x.

Pinterest is also commissioning its first real-life installation titled Havens: Invest in Rest in Chicago. The installation was curated by local artist Dwight White, who is dedicated to bringing the anti-burnout oasis to life through real-life pins, immersive art and community programming.

“The idea of radical rest is a conversation that is important to have in my community as we understand boundaries and self-care,” said White.

“As young Black professionals and entrepreneurs, one of the greatest challenges we face is putting our health before fulfilling the next request, project or commission. I was thrilled to curate an experience that encourages us to take a break, bringing this important theme of resting to life through my art for World Mental Health Day.”

TikTok’s mental health and wellbeing warriors

TikTok, which now has over 1 billion users, is leaning on its creators and community to come together to advocate for better mental health and wellbeing. Last week it introduced a network of ‘wellbeing warriors’ who will be offering advice and sharing experiences through their unique content.

The initiative aims to “kick-start a bigger conversation about mental wellbeing in our community” and features a whole host of different creators talking about subjects such as eating disorders, anxiety, body positivity and LGBT+ issues.

After removing over 85m videos that were deemed to be hateful in the past three months, users are being encouraged to go on TikTok to share support, guidance and tips to help each other in order to make the app a more positive space.

Snapchat’s Club Unity

Snapchat has teamed up with a range of celebrities on its latest project ‘Club Unity,’ which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Club Unity is a board of young leaders who are there to support gen Z voices and empower them to address important topics. In its inaugural year, the initiative is addressing the need to increase support around the mental health and wellbeing of BIPOC and LGBT+ youth.

This year’s club includes humanitarian Halima Aden, musicians Chloe x Halle, actor Ricky Thompson, Atlanta Hawks basketball player Trae Young and dancer Maddie Ziegler, who are all opening up about their own mental health journeys and encouraging young people to do the same.

Snap has also begun a multi-year partnership with Active Minds – a mental health organization for students and young adults. The partnership will support the expansion of Active Minds chapters at community colleges and high schools with the goal of reaching a larger number of BIPOC and LGBT+ students.

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