May is Mental Health Month: Social Media (and Local) Opportunities to Fight Stigma!

Social media has the powerful potential to defeat stigma through sharing the lived experiences of everyday people who are living with mental health conditions, and creating supportive online communities. For May is Mental Health Month 2017, we share two social media campaigns that we believe have the capacity to let people know that they are not alone, that help is out there, and that recovery is possible.

Instagram, the image and video-based social media platform, announced the launch of the #HereForYou campaign in May. The campaign features three individuals who have built positive communities of support on Instagram for those struggling with mental health challenges. Instagram’s latest campaign also provides easy access to communities and resources of support for those who are struggling. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Instagram COO Marne Levine stressed that “#HereForYou is a hashtag and campaign we are using in recognition of mental health awareness…but it also represents our commitment to foster the safest, kindest online community for self-expression.”

The social media platform Tumblr is also launching its own Mental Health Month initiative, Post it Forward. According to Tumblr, “Post it Forward is Tumblr’s campaign to counter the stigmas around mental and emotional health through community-building and conversation. Our wish is to reinforce something Tumblr users had been doing on their own for years: strengthen the community’s openness, kindness and support regarding issues that so many people, particularly young people, are facing today… If you have a positive message that helped you through a tough time, you should share that message. Someone out there needs to hear your story.”

We also wanted to let you know about Alameda County’s fun and free Mental Health Awareness event taking place on May 19, 2017! (details below).

What you can do:

  • Share and participate in Instagram’s #HereForYou campaign. Use the hashtags #HereForYou, #ItsOkayToTalk, #RecoveryIsPossible, #EndTheStigma and #SelfLoveClub when sharing your story!
  • Share and participate in Tumblr’s Post it Forward campaign! Everything you need to know to take part in the campaign in multiple ways can be found here.
  • Invite your friends and attend The Annual We Move for Health event, part of Alameda County and HHREC’s (Health and Human Resource Education Center) 10X10 Wellness Campaign taking place May 19, 2017, 10 am – 3 pm at the Lake Merritt Bandstand. Click here for more information about the event.