Instagram launches #HereForYou campaign for mental health awareness

The hashtag encourages users to open up about their mental health struggles.

ByABC News
May 8, 2017, 8:02 AM

— -- Instagram announced the launch of its new campaign that addresses mental health issues head-on, using social media on "Good Morning America" today.

"GMA" got an exclusive first look at the campaign, which employs the hashtag #HereForYou to encourage users to open up about their own struggles with mental health and join a global conversation.

"People come to Instagram to tell their stories in a visual, and through an image they're able to communicate how they're feeling, what they're doing," Instagram's Chief Operating Officer Marne Levine told ABC News. "So what we decided to do is to create a video campaign highlighting these communities of support that exist in Instagram.

"We feature three different community members who are all dealing with different issues, from eating disorders to depression," Marne added.

For the campaign, Instagram teamed up with "Pretty Little Liars" star Troian Bellisario, who has spoken out in the past about her own struggles with eating disorders, to help others dealing with similar issues.

"Once you have an eating disorder, it is something that you are always sort of in touch with," Bellisario told ABC News. "It's something that you're always ... not necessarily always struggling with, or struggling under ... but it is always something that is present."

The 31-year-old actress added that this campaign will help encourage people to open up about their struggles more on social media, as opposed to only posting about the positive aspects of their lives and shying away from topics such as mental health issues.

"I have a lot of friends ... and fans, who feel sometimes like Instagram is the place in which you have to make your life perfect," Bellisario said. "You have to show only the best version of your life. Only the happy moments. Only the highlights. And it leaves a huge part of your life that is hidden and in the dark.

"Instagram is offering tools and a connection to speak to people, to speak to professionals, to review online literature," Bellisario added of the new campaign, saying that it can also provide tools "to connect you to a community that can get you the help you need."

"It encourages people who may be suffering to take an active step in their own recovery," she said.

Levine said that there is already a community of people who support each other on Instagram, but she hopes that through this campaign more people will be able to find they can relate to each other.

"The hashtag, here for you, that's something that people say all the time already on Instagram," Levine said, adding that the new campaign is highlighting individuals and "giving examples of people in the community" to whom others can relate.