The all-new feature pairs individual users with mental health resources whenever keywords such as anxiety, depression, stress, suicidal thoughts, grief and bullying are used.
It was scheduled to debut in April, but its release has been fast-tracked in light of the worsening coronavirus situation, prioritizing a dedicated search tool for those seeking the latest advice from the World Health Organisation, NHS and CDC.
“We have always been inspired by the power that real friendships have in determining health and happiness. Snapchat connects close friends and family – and that’s never been more important than it is right now,” said Snap.
“We are fortunate to be able to help people stay connected to their real friends and loved ones through visual communication, and support each other as we navigate this unprecedented public health crisis.”
Included in this public service drive will be a range of ‘healthy tip stickers’ conveying sage words of advice such as ‘Wash hands frequently’, ‘Don’t touch your face!’ and ‘Cover your cough!’
In the meantime the full roster of British and American launch partners has been confirmed with Young Minds, The Samaritans and Diana Award picking up the reins on this side of the pond while Active Minds, Because of You, Crisis Text Line and Seize the Awkward do their bit stateside.
Snapchat has doubled its efforts to ensure members are given credible and fact-based information by partnering with trusted news organisations such as The Wall Street Journal, Sky News and CNN. Individuals are also prohibited from sharing content which deceives or misleads.