One in four people today globally live with mental illness. In fact, 76% of Yahoo users indicate their mental health has been impacted during the past year for one reason or another, according to a 2021 Verizon Media Study.
For brands to connect with consumers, they must first understand how they feel. Yahoo has become an advocate to improve this understanding and has partnered with the directory TherapyDen to bring people more access to mental health tools through a directory that allows them to find a therapist on Yahoo Life and Yahoo Search.
“We’re creating a space where it’s okay to not be okay,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media.
He added that Yahoo reaches about 900 million users per month, so it’s important for Yahoo to use the platform to advocate for better mental health awareness and support. The company’s focused on creating mental health resources for employees, customers and the industry overall.
The project, in partnership with TherapyDen, acknowledges how essential identity, diversity and inclusion are to mental health, from racial justice and LGBTQ issues, to political anxiety and office accessibility.
Yahoo also launched today Share Your State of Mind, an augmented reality (AR) experience created to build awareness and drive support. Share Your State of Mind, an outlet for artistic expression to help to break down stigma and form a community of solidarity, features 12 augmented reality filers (AR) filters based on feelings and affirmations around mental health: Anxious, Burnt Out, Grounded, Hopeful, Inspired, Mindful, Numb, Open, Outspoken, Overwhelmed, Supportive and Unsure.
The filters are meant to provide an outlet for artistic expression, help to break down stigma and form a community.
The AR experience will direct users to the Open Up resource page on Yahoo Life, featuring content from behavioral indicators to know if someone is having a difficult time, to questions to ask when looking for the right therapist. There also is a donation button for consumers to donate to mental health nonprofits and advocacy groups.
To measure performance of these mental health tools and resources, Yahoo will analyze the participation in the AR filters and engagement across Yahoo Life.
Verizon Media, Yahoo’s parent company, started building the foundation for a better employee experience around mental health about three years ago. In 2020, the company launched Yahoo Life, a new site dedicated to providing wellbeing news and resources, in addition to the #ResetYourMindset franchise, a live-streamed series focused on how holistic wellness can transform experiences.
Guests such as Serena Williams, Kristen Bell, Mark Cuban and Shailene Woodley have joined to talk about health, both mental and physical, sharing their feelings about life in a pandemic and their own wellness journeys.
As a trusted leader in innovation, content and commerce, Verizon Media has had the opportunity to make a significant impact in the mental health and wellbeing of society. Last year the company donated $10M in ad inventory to mental health organizations and will continue to support and partner with nonprofits and advocacy groups advancing mental health support globally. In April, Verizon Media announced a $5M ad inventory donation to media that advocates for Asian rights and mental health or promotes Asian-owned and run small businesses.