YouTube’s looking to help connect more users to mental health assistance by expanding the presence of its crisis resource panels, which provide contact info on mental health providers, within the app.

YouTube mental health alert

As explained by YouTube:

Previously, our crisis resource panels only appeared in search results. We’re now expanding them to show on the Watch Page as well, right under the video title.”

As you will see in the example above, when viewers are viewing material relating to mental health problems, 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 films about suicide and self-harm on the Watch Page, providing a potent combination of informative and emotionally relevant content, as well as encouragement to take action if required.”

According to YouTube, the language of these notifications has been altered in order to better express that such services are both free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order 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 material 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 dread of the virus and its propagation, has been on mental health, with many individuals left alone and unable to rely on their normal support networks to break them out of harmful cycles.

That’s been particularly significant for sufferers of anxiety, with the Kaiser Family Foundation reporting that around 4 in 10 adults in the US have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic.

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.

YouTube’s new information panels will be available in the United States in the coming weeks, with a global rollout to follow.