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  • Meerelle Cruz

YouTube Increases Crisis Response Panels to Assist Users in Mental Health Matters

By expanding the prominence of its crisis resource panels, which provide contact information for mental health providers, within the app, YouTube hopes to help connect more people to mental health care. YouTube's crisis resource panels used to exclusively show up in search results. They're now displaying them on the Watch Page, just beneath the video title.

As you will see in the example above, when users are viewing material relating to mental health concerns, YouTube will now display relevant contact information front and center, giving these important resources more visibility and perhaps connecting more individuals in need.

People spend the majority of their time on YouTube on the Watch Page, resulting in a significant boost in the visibility of these messages. The panels display underneath videos about suicide and self-harm on the Watch Page, providing a potent combination of educational and emotionally relevant content, as well as encouragement to take action if needed.

According to YouTube, the language of these notifications has been altered to better express that such services are both free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to connect more individuals in need. In addition, YouTube is increasing the themes for which crisis resources are displayed in YouTube search results, with depression, sexual assault, substance abuse, and eating disorder content now featuring these alerts and prompts, in addition to suicide and self-harm content.

One of the most major repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic's isolation, as well as the surrounding fear of the virus and its propagation, has been on mental health, with many people left alone and unable to rely on their regular support networks to break them out of harmful cycles.

This has been especially important for anxiety patients, with the Kaiser Family Foundation indicating that nearly four out of ten persons in the United States have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression throughout the epidemic. That's why YouTube wants to do more to help, and while doing so will still require users to take the next step and actively seek help, providing more access and information can only help in connecting people to such resources, especially when these alerts are displayed on platforms where they're already looking for related information and insight.

In the next weeks, YouTube's new info panels will be carried out in the United States, with a global rollout to follow.

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