In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, Instagram has launched a #Hereforyou campaign and released an inspiring video, showing people from various backgrounds talking about how they've found support on the social networking site.
"I knew that something was off but I didn't want to speak about it because I didn't want to feel like an outcast," one young woman said in the minute-long clip. "Through Instagram I was able to connect with other girls who were going through similar things. My main thing is to bring girls together and let the girls know they are not alone."
The campaign pays tribute to mental health awareness, and shines a light on those who share their stories of mental health on Instagram. The social networking site teamed up with Troian Bellisario for the launch, with the Pretty Little Liars alum sharing a touching Instagram post about it Monday.
"I want to thank @instagram for continually creating a safe space for people to have conversations about mental health," she captioned a photo of herself sitting on an Instagram-emblazoned pod. "I have seen & heard many brave people speak out about their own ever changing relationship to their mental illness; the ups & the downs, the triumphs & the pain. IG is a visual platform BUT many have used this space for more than just posting images."
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"They have found communities and friends who support them, and places where they can speak openly and honestly about their lives," she continued. "May is Mental Health Awareness month in America and @instagram asked me to join them on @goodmorningamerica with @robinrobertsgma & @marnelevine to talk about the new ways in which they are supporting these conversations and communities and how I chose to speak about my own experience with my upcoming film #FeedtheMovie. No one should suffer in silence. There is no shame in asking for help. Take this moment to let someone know we are #hereforyou."
Instagram also released a statement about the campaign, with Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom writing, "Mental illness can affect anyone, and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in the United States alone half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14."
"Every day on Instagram, we see people share their mental health journeys and connect with communities of support. 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," he continued. "We are committed to fostering a safer, kinder community and highlighting these inspiring voices."
Systrom went on to say that to create the campaign video, the Instagram team sat down with three people who have created online communities to offer support to others who are dealing with mental health issues. In addition to the video, Instagram is also allowing users to anonymously report a post from someone who might need mental help, and that person will be connected with organizations that can assist them.