News : Instagram's Mental Distress Helpline Expands
Hong Kong, Oct 20, 2016 -- Instagram's helpline for people experiencing mental distress and possible self-harm has been extended to more countries, including many in Asia and Australia.
The social network's new feature will allow people to anonymously report posts that they think might indicate a user in danger of self-injury. The latter then receives a message from Instagram with options, such as being placed in touch with a professional helpline organisation.
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Instagram said it is working with some 40 organisations worldwide for the initiative. These include:
- The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong and The Samaritans Hong Kong
- Samaritans of Singapore
- Taiwan Suicide Prevention Centre
- South Korea's HopeClick; Korea Suicide Prevention Center; Ministry of Health & Welfare Call Center; Mental Health Center Crisis Counseling
- TELL Tokyo English Lifeline
- Australia's beyondblue; headspace; Kids Helpline
- New Zealand's Lifeline Aotearoa; Depression Helpline; The Lowdown- Youthline
Instagram's parent company, Facebook, has also been rolling out suicide prevention tools across the globe.
It started its suicide outreach several years ago, launching in the U.S. last year. By June, it managed to cover users in huge Asian markets like India.
If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list is a good place to start.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, October 24, 2016
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