Can we make a social media account to spread awareness of mental illness?

A2A

I understand your enthusiasm. I’ve spent many years working on social media and websites to raise awareness on various issues – from conservation, environmental degradation to street harassment, gender equality and disability rights etc. It is not an easy job to do. One must be prepared to be questioned, attacked and take responsibility for having every word of theirs analyzed through a microscope.

I never speak about something I haven’t spent hours and hours researching. Even when I find myself at the helm of mental illness myself and I’ve been trying to start a blog or tumblr or something on the same, I still don’t feel prepared. I’m taking moocs on the subject, talking to many people, reading and researching perspectives all the time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it is a lot of responsibility and not just about sending out tweets, statuses or images. It has to do with crafting meaningful interesting messages on the subject, networking with the right people, participate in exchange of knowledge, having clear ethics and principles on respecting opinions and communicating with people and last of all, a strategy in place. If you don’t start prepared, you will not last long online because it is an extremely dynamic medium which is constantly evolving.

I have worked on looking at many facets of an issue and create interesting content that engages people. For instance, here’s something I did with The Kachra Project[1] :

We also used local stars and vernacular languages to connect with people using humor as a tool.

This was an experiment and it worked well! Once we got people’s attention, we delved into more serious advice and information that could really help.

It all worked well and we didn’t have any major debates in terms of opinion except when we interviewed someone who was into bioplastics manufacturing. I won’t get into the details but the idea of sharing all this is to make you understand that just starting a page or a handle isn’t the aim. The aim is utter passion and dedicated for the cause.

Look at the creative below, it is so simple but hits a chord so easily.

And here’s another on mental illness which you might have seen already.

This is beyond brilliant and to the point. I follow many Twitter handles who advocate on mental illnesses. #SickNotWeak, #BellLetsTalk, #timetotalk, #EndTheStigma are successful hashtag campaigns that have got people to talk about their struggle with mental illnesses.

Something like this also works:

You must be prepared before delving in. Have a list of Twitter handles, Facebook pages, local and international organizations, focus areas ready before you start. Have a clear sense of which mental illnesses you’ll be starting with and go where the audience is. Once they learn of your work, momentum will build. It doesn’t happen overnight unless you have a really creative and consistent team. I was fairly successful with The kachra project but my own health and lack of resources and team made it harder to go on at the time. (While I’ll be revamping the project, I do acknowledge the constraints I faced.)

So I suggest you to do your research beforehand. Connect to the right people. Find influencers in the area. Ask them to contribute to your campaign. It could be a small post with their experience, an image with their thoughts or just them sharing your status, tweet or post with their following. Decide on the platforms that meets your needs: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr. The strategy for each will vary because the audience tastes vary.

There are many mental health projects based in India . I can suggest some for your reference. I maintain Twitter lists on the domains I’m interested in so I know where to go when I need a reference. You can message me if you need help with that.

All the best.

Images: Taken from Twitter for reference purposes. The original copyright is reserved with the owners.

PS: I couldn’t share sample of work done with other organizations because of conflict of interest and ownership etc.

Footnotes

[1] The Kachra Project

There are scores of such groups emanating from India on social media at present. You are always welcome to start another- the more the merrier. But do not think you are the only one thinking of it.

There is the RED DOOR and there the WHOLE MIND INDIA FOUNDATION. We also have a page called VOICES- which is fairly in a comatose state right now, as we are all busy with research. So check these out and by all means start your own if you feel like it or join these.

Its a great idea. You can spread awareness through various social sites like.. pages on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and many more.

At the first it will be difficult as you’ll not be able to fetch a good amount of viewers and many times you may feel demotivated about not getting proper amount of likes,views ,comments etc but never give up. Try to post daily and one day everyone will know about your page/group through which you are going to spread awareness of mental illness. Best regards. 🙂

Social Media awareness is extremely important to spread the impactful message of mental illnesses. These platforms are highly effective to get your message out there for the world to follow. But there are certain netiquettes one needs to implement in order to be good netizens and not misuse the plethora of information we can retrieve from the net. I came across one such video that decoded this message very beautifully. You can watch it here and spread the word.

It is everyone’s. You can create a group or a page and promote it by paying or you can even invite your friends and tell them to promote your page but don’t keep you title as “mental illness” it attracts lesser people because of negative words in the title instead put a positive title.

Yes, Social Media accounts can be created for mental illness. To spread mental awareness. Sure, I can help you out. Please message me over quora.