Huddle, the first peer-to-peer mental health platform launchesOnline Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
NEW YORK, N.Y. — Once a taboo topic, conversations around mental health are on the rise in the U.S. Today, people across varying demographics are starting to speak candidly about their problems, experiences, and how to get the help they need. This discourse, especially through the internet and social media, has led to a wealth of online campaigns around the subject. Women are coming out of the shadows about sexual assault with #metoo; celebrities like Lady Gaga, Lin Manuel Miranda, and Ludacris are sending supportive messages on World Mental Health day; the Black Lives Matter movement is spreading like wildfire on Twitter and beyond; and more. Still, people are constantly searching for places online to verbalize and get guidance around the issues they cope with daily.
Huddle, a new mobile/video app, just launched to open up and push the mental health conversation forward. In a nutshell, community members upload videos directly to the app to share their stories through Huddle’s simple, user-friendly interface.
Members can control the pixelation of their videos to remain anonymous, thanks to an innovative use of the selfie camera—an important safety feature of the app.
Other users then watch and listen to their peers’ stories, responding with their own insight through comments or video, sharing similar struggles, resources, and hopeful messages—creating an incredibly compassionate space.
“Huddle is the only social platform where talking about mental health issues is encouraged, and being vulnerable is celebrated,” notes Huddle co-founder Dan Blackman. “It’s a unique place where real connections can be made with people that are ready to support—and we aren’t seeing this on any other platforms. Places like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are are not set up to encourage users to talk and connect through real life struggles. Huddle is a place to share where you’ve been, and to connect with people who have ‘been there’ too.”
Active communities on the platform currently include LGBTQ+ groups, people of color, recovering addicts, sexual assault survivors, those struggling with depression, stress, and anxiety, body positivity groups, and many more. Amidst our country’s climate, now is an important time for these communities to come together to discuss their everyday and longstanding grievances, inside a society they feel is continuing to fail them.
Immigrants are sharing their stories amidst dehumanizing political policies; LGBTQ+ individuals are coming out to a group that understands them; HIV+ individuals talk about discrimination, medications, and everyday struggles with others in the Poz group; people of color are discussing ongoing racist structures in the US; and so much more. Public groups are added to the platform every day, with hundreds of active users posting, empathizing, and healing together. Essentially, Huddle is an accessible and free alternative to traditional therapy for anyone in need of support—and even a stepping stone towards getting professional help.
To further Huddle’s mission of maintaining a safe community, the company has a zero-tolerance policy against negative or destructive behavior, including conversations that are purposely harmful or groups that can be destructive. Huddle users can rest assured knowing that their privacy and safety is held to the highest regard, allowing them to share their most authentic selves—and helping them to feel a part of a more helpful, empathetic, and mindful world.
“The internet has always been a great connector of people. With Huddle, we’re using the camera in our phones to emulate the humanity and positivity of in-person support groups necessary for some of the most important conversations of our users’ lives. We’ve been thrilled to see Huddle resonate so strongly in the thousands of discussions taking place today, and are looking forward to continue growing our nascent community.” adds co-founder Tyler Faux.
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