Instagram is predominantly a shiny, happy place, full of avocado toast and trips to Positano and designer purchases (along with, of course, the associated FOMO). But occasionally, you see something that cuts sharply through the filtered gloss - something that betrays the fact that the person who posted the image isn't viewing life through the rosy lens of a Valencia filter after all.
With Instagram's new Support tool, if a person you follow posts about self-harm, suicide or anything that worries you, you can anonymously report it. The poster will then receive the following message from Instagram: "Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we'd like to help." The message then lists suggestions, from talking to a friend to contacting a local helpline. The same message appears if you search for self-harm-related hashtags as well.
Instagram sought advice from America's National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Eating Disorders Association for the initiative. "These tools are designed to let you know that you are surrounded by a community that cares about you, at a moment when you might most need that reminder," Marne Levine, Instagram Chief Operating Officer, told Seventeen.
It's a fantastic initiative, but if you know the person you've reported, may we suggest contacting them yourself, too? Sometimes a good old-fashioned phone call can go a long way.