According to the World Health Organization, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25% in just the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Searches about learning and improving mental health started to rise on Pinterest during the pandemic and have continued to increase exponentially over the past year as people try to adjust to a new normal. Specifically, people turned to Pinterest to express their feelings, find encouragement and wellness techniques, as well as alleviate stress or anxiety. For example, searches for “struggling mentally quotes” increased by 9X, “feeling stressed” increased by 8X, and “tough day encouragement quotes” increased by 3X; “yoga for stress” searches were also up +74%.
To support users' (Pinners) call for mental health content, Pinterest took deliberate steps to create inspiring environments – both online and offline – to build mental health awareness and advance emotional well-being through its “Mind Your Wellness” campaign. The campaign built on Pinterest’s ongoing efforts to pioneer positivity online and to serve as a place of solace and inspiration for Pinners around the globe.
Additionally, as conversations about the link between social media and mental health continue to swirl, Pinterest’s “Mind Your Wellness” campaign underscored the company’s stand against toxic online culture and demonstrated how the brand intentionally engineers a more positive corner of the Internet. Whereas other online environments deplete emotional wellbeing, Pinterest is a refuge from social validation and provides a place where Pinners can escape, explore ideas and let their creativity shine through.
Pinterest’s “Mind Your Wellness” campaign featured various on- and off-platform initiatives to increase awareness about the mental health challenges that show up in daily life, advance innovation in the field through purposeful giving, and provide inspiring resources to promote self-care.
Launched during Mental Health Awareness Month 2022, the key features of the campaign included:
“Pinterest Havens: A Whole Mood”, a two-day in-person experience that showcased six immersive exhibits in NYC exploring color and mood to build emotional awareness and resilience; each installation explored a different emotion, from self-love to anger, and provided resources for helping to manage them appropriately. The activation also featured programming and activities hosted by wellness studio HealHaus, including sound baths and workshops – as well as a speaker series featuring influential voices, such as Mental Health Coalition founder and fashion icon Kenneth Cole and Stop the Shame founder Shandi Das.
Partnerships with the Mental Health Coalition, actress Marsai Martin, and dozens of Pinterest Creators to create and amplify informative and inspiring content on the Pinterest platform. Content included ideas and best practices on mindfulness, living with intention, and improving digital wellness, and can be found on the “Mind Your Wellness” group board. Pinners were also invited to share some of their favorite mental health tips on the board to honor our collective mental health and wellbeing.
Expansion of Compassionate Search and ‘How We Feel’. Now available in 23 countries, Compassionate Search is an on-platform feature that offers a collection of interactive activities to help users access supportive resources to improve their mood if they are feeling stressed, anxious, sad or trying to manage difficult emotions. Additionally, Pinterest volunteers helped build and launch a journal-based app in support of The How We Feel Project that helps individuals spot patterns in their emotions and learn new ways to manage them. The How We Feel app is grounded in research from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and helps people tune into their emotions and respond to them more intentionally.
Donations to 26 Pinterest Purpose Partners dedicated to increasing awareness of mental health and wellbeing challenges, particularly among vulnerable populations, and tackling racial disparities and other inequalities in access to mental health services. Partners include The Trevor Project, Inseparable, the International Rescue Committee and Our Own, to name a few.
Participation in the first-of-its-kind Mental Health Youth Action Forum in Washington D.C. In collaboration with MTV and the White House, Pinterest elevated the stories of 30 young mental health content creators and activists who were selected to develop creative mental health campaign ideas and present them at the forum. The evening before the Forum, Pinterest hosted an event at The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum to prompt dialogue and action around mental health and a panel discussion with leaders from the Asian Mental Health Collective, Bring Change to Mind, and Homebound, to explore how they engage communities of color effectively.
Overall, the “Mind Your Wellness” campaign set out to improve mental health, not threaten it.
The “Mind Your Wellness” campaign reached 2k impressions on Pinterest boards and 2.9m potential social reach on Instagram. Pinterest also engaged over 500 Pinners, creators, partners and guests across the policy, legislative, mental health and emotional wellbeing landscape through its in-person events.
Feedback from stakeholders included:
“Thank you so much @pinterest for raising awareness during #mentalhealthawarenessmonth and supporting our lifesaving crisis services for LGBTQ youth” -The Trevor Project
“We are proud to partner with Pinterest (our only social network partner) , a company that values ROI (return on inspiration) at the same level as their commitment to shareholder returns. This begins with executive priorities and structuring teams to support inclusive algorithms, corporate wellbeing, and sustainable social impact.`
-Larissa May, Founder #HalfTheStory
Additionally, Pinterest invested more than $6M in its Purpose Partners who represent over two dozen mental health nonprofits whose impact spans locally and around the globe. With Pinterest’s support, Purpose Partners have helped to pass school mental health bills in states like Alabama and Illinois and have increased attention on youth mental health by the White House and Congress. During the campaign, Pinterest announced public support of the “Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022” (HR 7666) to improve mental health outcomes for youth, mothers, and people in crisis. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passed the legislation during our Mental Health Youth Action Forum kickoff event.
Pinterest continues supporting emotional wellbeing year-round with a continued and deepened focus on mental health for young people.