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Instagram has recently launched a new function to enable its users to explore wellness “guides” filled with tips, advice and other useful resources aimed at supporting people who are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The feature will see content created by participating expert organisations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Facebook-owned photo and video sharing platform Instagram launched “guides” not long ago. The new function is wellness focused, meaning that the content will centre on mental and physical health and wellbeing, and caters to those who are experiencing negative emotions, stress, anxiety, depression and grief during the pandemic.
Announcing the new feature, Instagram’s chief Adam Mosseri said that the original format for “guides” was for travel purposes. But as the coronavirus has kept millions from travelling due to lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, transport restrictions and other social distancing measures, Instagram has had to adapt and change the aim of the app’s newest function.
“We pivoted them to focus on wellness because of the pandemic,” said Mosseri.
It will provide users with recommendations on looking after one’s well-being, maintaining connection and communication with others while social distancing, and coping with grief and anxiety due to the human and economic impact of the crisis.
The content under “guides” will be long-form, unlike its typical format made up of images, seconds-long Instagram stories and short video bursts.
Participating organisations to create the content will include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, who has created a guide titled “Mental Health and Covid-19”. It curates the organisation’s content into one single and easy-to-access place, in a new icon on each participant’s profile.
Mental health group Heads Together has also created similar guides, which collates various Instagram posts on topics such as kindness, self-care and emotional communication.
In the near future, Instagram hopes to be able to launch the feature on its “Explore” page, instead of only including it as a new icon on selected participants’ profiles.
The coronavirus has undoubtedly raised stress levels amongst almost every section of society, which can lead to prolonged feelings of unease, nervousness, anxiety and even worsening of preexisting chronic health problems.
Certain groups may be more affected than others, such as elderly groups who are more vulnerable and may feel increasingly disconnected from others as they practice stricter social distancing during this time. Health workers, on the other hand, are inevitably working longer hours under strenuous and difficult conditions, and are undoubtedly under immense pressure.
With the global economic recession and unemployment at an all time high, many families, especially those relying on daily wages, migrant labour and gig work, are now facing a disproportionate struggle to meet their everyday basic needs. The latest report by the United Nations estimates that 34 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty in this year alone as a consequence of the pandemic.
Below are some useful resources that we’ve compiled for those struggling during the pandemic:
- A guide to coping with coronavirus-induced anxiety
- Things to do to uplift your mental health during the pandemic
- How to tackle the unhealthy side of non-stop video-calls
- Ways you can help your community during coronavirus
Read our previous news coverage of Covid-19 here.
Lead image courtesy of Instagram.