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Pinterest’s search now returns mental health resources for anxiety-related queries

Pinterest has released an update to its platform that will show emotional well-being activities in search results when people key in anxiety-related queries such as ‘stress quotes’ or ‘work anxiety’.

Pinterest already redirects people searching for self-harm related content to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and maintains that “the experience is not meant to replace professional care, but it may help someone if they need support.”

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline alongside Brainstorm — a Standford Lab for Mental Health Innovation — and Vibrant Emotional Health have advised for creating these Pinterest guides for users who might be dealing with stress and anxiety.

“Today we’re rolling out a collection of emotional well-being activities people can do right from our app if they’re feeling stressed, anxious or sad. Each practice offers people an interactive way to try to improve their mood––from tools to help someone relax to self-compassion exercises,” writes Annie Ta, Product Manager at Pinterest.

Data collected via these Pinterest resources and how it is used

In the last year, 3 million searches related to emotional health were made on Pinterest in USA. More than 50% of Americans will probably be diagnosed with mental disorder or illness in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

While this update seems like a step in the right direction considering these staggering numbers, let’s take a look at what data Pinterest collects when users interact with these resources and what is done with that data.

According to the company, interactions with these emotional well-being activities are private and not connected to the user’s account. Pinterest doesn’t track who uses these resources and won’t use this information to tailor ads or recommendations for the user.

While Pinterest doesn’t track or target users based on the interaction with their well-being tool, they do store all the activity anonymously using a  third-party service.

These emotional well-being resources will be available to users in USA over the coming weeks in Pinterest’s iOS and Android apps (version 7.25). These resources will be released in the future to other regions but no date has been released yet.

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