People grappling with the reality of living with a health condition, especially a chronic one, were not looking for information. They were looking for support. How did other people live with this? Does it ever get better? How do I support my loved one through this? What meaning can I make of it? And they were all getting at the same human element: we help each other get through things. The need for connection and belonging is a universal one, and that’s proven with data – the science of peer support shows that social connectedness positively impacts both physical and mental health.
Today, we’re launching a new way to do just that, with the introduction of our new Personal Stories shelf. Starting this week, when you search for health topics and questions related to certain conditions, you’ll see a shelf showing videos of personal stories relevant to the topic. To start, we are focusing on queries related to cancer, and mental health topics like anxiety and depression, but these topic areas will expand over the coming months. The Personal Stories shelf will be available for users in the US, but we plan to expand this feature to more markets around the world.
To be eligible for the shelf, videos must primarily focus on a personal, authentic lived experience that is relevant to a specific physical or mental health condition. Content that is promotional in nature is not eligible for this feature, and all videos that appear in this feature must comply with our policies that prevent the spread of health misinformation.
This work was deeply influenced and informed by the personal experiences of all of us on the YouTube Health team, but none more so than our colleague Maya Amoils.