(Pocket-lint) - Snap is rolling out a mental health new tool, called Here For You, which is part of Snapchat's built-in search feature.

Originally unveiled last month, Here for You is designed to serve up "proactive in-app support" to Snapchatters who may be experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis. It's also just useful to anyone who may want to learn more about these issues and help others who is dealing with them. Here For You was supposed to roll out over this spring and summer, but it's going live now amid the coronavirus pandemic.

What is Snap's Here For You tool?

Here For You is designed to show "safety resources" from mental health experts - including local experts - when you search for certain topics, such as anxiety, depression, stress, grief, suicidal thoughts, and bullying. There's a COVID-19-specific topic, for instance, complete with information from the Ad Council, World Health Organization, the CDC, Crisis Text Line, the NHS, and others.

Snap, the company behind Snapchat, partnered with these experts to create content specifically related to coronavirus. In a statement, Snap said Here For You is "informed by studies" that show connecting with others is the best defense against "feelings of loneliness and anxiety".


How to use Snap's Here for You tool

  1. Open the latest version of the Snapchat mobile app.
  2. Unless you're a new user who has to first sign up, you should see the Camera.
  3. Look for the Search button (magnifying glass icon) up top, and tap it.
  4. Now, start typing in the Search field. Try looking for "coronavirus".

The Search feature inside the Snapchat app for iOS and Android will help you find friends, saved memories, lenses, publishers' stories, and now, Here For You resources. Just type in a mental health-related topic or even coronavirus, and then you will see Here For You suggestions.

What will Here For You be available?

Snap expects Here For You to roll out to all Snapchat users by next week (end of March 2020).

Writing by Maggie Tillman.