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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Snapchat is launching a new set of tools and custom content around mental health and wellness, sources tell Axios. One tool includes a search function that surfaces health and wellness resources on topics including depression, suicide and anxiety.

Why it matters: It's the first product launch around what will be a bigger health and wellness push from Snapchat that will be rolled out in the next few months.

Details: A search tool called "Here For You" will launch in beta Tuesday, along with new content features.

  • When a user types in words that could imply they need help with health and wellness issues, the tool will surface a special section within Snapchat's search results.
  • It includes proactive resources from mental health experts, as well as content from partners on topics such as from anxiety, mental health and suicide.
  • For example, if a user were to type the word "anxiety" into Snapchat's search function, the show title for its new series "Chill Pill" would surface, as well as episodes of some of its other popular shows that show anxiety-relieving videos.
  • It will also surface Snapchat original programming from Snapchat that talks about issues like suicide or depression in a constructive way.

The big picture: Many tech platforms are beginning to invest in health and wellness efforts to ensure the loyalty and wellbeing of their users.

  • Pinterest, for example, introduced emotional wellness activities like deep breathing exercises for users searching for resources around matters like anxiety or stress.
  • Instagram has focused heavy resources on combating bullying on its platform and has worked to expand its suicide content ban.

Between the lines: Snapchat's efforts, like Pinterest's, are more about providing resources than they are about fundamentally changing its product to reduce user stress.

  • The company has dodged some of the bigger criticisms around user wellbeing that some of its competitors have faced due to its investments in privacy and combating misinformation.
  • It's also billed itself as a platform that's meant for close friends to interact, which could make its platform more appropriate for tougher conversations around personal health.
  • Internal Snapchat research shows that feelings of stress, depression and anxiety are the top mental health issues users say they and their circle of friends face, according to a Snap spokesperson.

What's next: Tuesday's announcement, made on Safer Internet Day, will be followed up by a further rollout of health and wellness features in the next few months.

Go deeper: Tech companies target your sanity

Go deeper

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."

Biden's ethics end-around for labor

President Biden surveys a water treatment plant during a visit to New Orleans today. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is excusing top officials from ethics rules that would otherwise restrict their work with large labor unions that previously employed them, federal records show.

Why it matters: Labor's sizable personnel presence in the administration is driving policy, and the president's appointment of top union officials to senior posts gives those unions powerful voices in the federal bureaucracy — even at the cost of strictly adhering to his own stringent ethics standards.