Content IssuesWhen linking to mental health information, use a reliable source. Misinformation is rampant online, so make sure you’re not spreading inaccurate information from sites that may be unreliable.If retweeting or sharing a link, look at it before passing it along. Assess whether it contains any inaccurate or stigmatizing content that works against your desired mental health messaging.Social interactions with people living with mental illness are the most effective way to reduce public stigma. If you are comfortable sharing information about your own mental health challenges and recovery process, using social media to matter-of-factly talk about your own experience can help online friends and followers gain a better understanding of mental illness.If the only time you post something related to mental health is when there has been a violent incident, consider also sharing more positive stories about people overcoming mental health challenges and succeeding in their recovery. The vast majority of people who are living with mental illness are never violent, and are in fact more likely to be victims than perpetrators.When you see someone else posting stigmatizing or disparaging content, say something! You have the power to influence how someone thinks about people living with mental illness, as well as influencing the other people who follow that person online. If it is a celebrity or corporate account, you have the opportunity to make an even bigger difference.Consider adding the phrase “[Trigger Warning]” when linking to graphic stories or images. Though the triggers vary that might cause someone with a history of trauma or addictive behaviors to experience a painful psychological response, a trigger warning may be appropriate for your audience. This may include graphic pictures or detailed descriptions of self-harm behaviors, sexual or violent assault, or disaster/battlefield situations. If on a blog, use a “cut” so that users must click a link to “Read more…” before seeing the potentially triggering content.http://www.flickr.com/photos/46459767@N07/6815551892
Privacy and Safety ConcernsGive careful consideration to your privacy online. While there are many good reasons why you might want to do so, sharing identifiable personal and health information is something you should not do lightly. Remember that what goes up online may be there forever.Never share other people’s mental health information without permission. If someone is already public about their mental health status and history online, it’s not an issue. However, if you have private information about someone, you do not have the right to post about it. If you are a mental health provider, you definitely are not allowed to provide any identifiable information about your clients.If you or someone you know are being harassed or bullied online… There are several things you can do to keep yourself or others in your community safe. Clearly tell the harasser to stop, then refrain from any further communications. If they continue, save the communications you receive from them and contact the appropriate service (e.g., social network site, internet service provider) to take action. If threats of violence have been made, you may need to involve law enforcement. Suicide Prevention and SafetyAvoid focusing your communications solely on the extent and consequences of suicide. Prevention efforts are more successful when sharing positive stories of hope and recovery, as well as examples of how others can provide support and assistance to people they know who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. Calling it an “epidemic” or emphasizing dire statistics can make suicide seem more common and socially acceptable.Follow safe suicide communication guidelines. These recommendations were designed for journalists covering stories about suicide based on research that found that certain types of media reporting increased the risk of suicide contagion among vulnerable individuals. (See ReportingonSuicide.org for details.) These guidelines (adapted for social media here) include:Don’t overdramatize the event or place “suicide” in the headline/title. (In headlines, “dies” is appropriate.)Avoid exact details on locations and methods. Avoid photos or videos of the location or method of death, as well as dramatic images of grieving family and friends or memorial services. The words “committed,” “succeeded” or “failed” are inaccurate and unhelpful. Appropriate wording is that someone died by suicide, took his life or killed herself.Don’t oversimplify. Suicide is complex and often has many factors. It is almost certainly inaccurate to cite a single cause as, for example, “recent money woes” or “a fight with a spouse.”Websites and bloggers should develop policies and procedures for safe comments and message board posts, and monitor for hurtful messages or comments from posters who may be in crisis. Share links to suicide prevention resources periodically and when someone in the news or an online community member has died by suicide. Appropriate hotlines and websites include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for the U.S. (suicidepreventionlifeline.org), Samaritans for the UK (samaritans.org), or Befrienders Worldwide (befrienders.org).If someone posts potentially suicidal content online, take action. They may or may not intend to follow through, but don’t take a chance. If you are comfortable doing so, reach out to the person online and find out how you can help or refer them to resources. Many social networks have a system in place to report suicidal content and get online help to that person. (See suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/online.aspx for instructions on various sites.)Keep an eye out for trending topics on Twitter and Facebook that may be related to the suicide of a celebrity or other well-known person. Post resources for people who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts as a result of the news. Use the same hashtags or keywords that appear in the trending topics so your posts will be seen by those following the news.Be vigilant for suicide hoaxes that may spread quickly online. Do not retweet or repost information that has not been confirmed, and discourage others from doing so as well.Work with influencers in online fan communities who can help to quell rumors and spread accurate information when suicide hoaxes are spreading.
Using Social Media for Good: Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Beyond
USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR GOOD:
MENTAL HEALTH, SUICIDE PREVENTION
Nedra Weinreich (@Nedra, @MediaTEAMup)
Entertainment Industries Council
Radio Television Digital News Association
Introducing Generation Next…
Three $4000 Cash Prizes: Film/TV, Journalism, & Social
Recognition at the 2014 PRISM Awards ceremony
Mentoring sessions with industry professionals and
mental health experts
A collaborative program with Active Minds, a mental
health organization led by college students
Curricular resources for faculty and students
Photo: Mr. T in DC (Flickr)
How can you use social
media to make a difference?
1 in 4 will have a
mental health issue
What can you do with
Social Media Outcomes
• Listening and learning
• Building relationships
• Building awareness of issue
• Improving reputation of
• Motivating content generation
• Increasing relevant visitor
• Increasing perceptions of
• Social support
• Taking action
.75".75"Step 2: Whom Do You Want to Reach?
Slide Credit: wearemedia.org
Step 3: What is Your Organizational Capacity?
Free Puppy! (or is it?)
Step 4: Which Tools and Tactics
Will Help You Reach Your Goals?
Choose the Right Tools
– Google Alerts, RSS
readers, Twitter Search
– Twitter, Facebook, Blog
• Tell Your Story
– Blogs, Twitter, G+, vide
sharing, podcasts, Pinte
• Help Supporters
Tell Your Story
– User generated
content, contests, social
• Generate Buzz
– Twitter, Social news (eg
Reddit), Tumblr, Pintere
• Build Community
– Facebook, LinkedIn, Twi
tter, G+, hashtags, Tum
– Wikis, social
Engage in Two-Way
Tips for Social Media Content
• Share resources, tips, news, encouragement
• Link to reliable sources.
• Check links before passing them along.
• Don’t only post about mental health when
there has been a violent incident.
• Positive stories of hope and recovery are
• Social interactions reduce stigma.
Building an Online Community
Find Your Fans
Social Media Resources
•Application deadline: November 30, 2013
•Semifinalists selected by December 6, 2013
•Final projects submitted by February 28, 2014
•PRISM Awards: April 24, 2014
Generation Next Competition