Instagram creating safe community for users with new campaign

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Instagram is creating a safe community for its more than 700 million users. The Menlo Park-based social media giant is taking a stand for mental health awareness with its #HereForYou campaign.

The new global campaign encourages users to share their own struggles with mental health. It's an attempt by the social media giant to reach some of its more vulnerable users.

"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 COO Marne Levine said. "So we decided to do is to create a video campaign highlighting these communities of support that exist in Instagram. And we feature three different community members who are all dealing with different issues from eating disorders to depression."

Instagram is teaming up with "Pretty Little Liars" star Troian Bellisario for the campaign. She's opened up about her own battle. "Once you have an eating disorder, it is something that you are always sort of in touch with. And it's a constant journey forward<' she said. "I have a lot of friends and fans who feel sometimes like Instagram is a place in which you have to make your life perfect. 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."

Bellisario's friends had an intervention that helped her get through her struggle. She says she's lucky to have a community and believes Instagram can be used to connect people not only with friends but with mental health professionals, too.

The social media tool already flags and disables harmful comments and posts. But with this new campaign, Instagram will offer resources like professional help and online literature.

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