Sunday, January 31, 2016

The power that social media can have

It’s amazing the power that social media has to spread messages and change minds.  Even five years ago, I could never have imagined what social media would be today.  It’s such a good way to give awareness to topics that may have always been considered taboo.  One example is the use of the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.  This is a part of the Bell Let’s Talk Campaign based out of Canada.  This organization focuses on mental health and one of its biggest initiatives is to end the stigma that is attached to mental health.  #BellLetsTalk is engaging people all around the in a conversation about mental health.  January 28th is Bell Let’s Talk Day and people are encouraged to strike a conversation to end the stigma that surrounds mental health.  Twitter is probably the biggest platform.  This is only the second year of Bell Let’s Talk Day but it has spread so much further than one day out of the year and so much farther than Canada.  It has people talking.  And isn’t that the beauty of social media; to connect people in a positive way to better our world and get awareness out to the masses.  But a worry about any campaign like this spearheaded over social media is, will it fade out or do any long-term good?  Sometimes social media campaigns become almost trendy and once all of the hype is over people forget.  So while social media is a great way to get a message out, it can’t do all of the work.  It is up to everyone to continue communicating and make real things happen.  Social media can only do so much; we have to put our words on social media to action.  Over 125 million people interacted with Bell Let’s Talk through twitter on January 28; this could do great things for mental health if we keep the conversation going both in and out of social media.
How the Bell Let’s Talk organization believes that we can end the stigma about mental health:
1.     Language Matters
2.     Educate Yourself
3.     Be Kind
4.     Listen and Ask
5.     Talk About It

Some tweets from #BellLetsTalk on Twitter:
Remember when we were all talking about #MentalHealth for #BellLetsTalk? It's 4 days later. Important issues transcend time. Keep talking.  -- @Prof_Dewey

When you have/had a eating disorder, recovery is one of the hardest things, I hate when people act like its so easy #BellLetsTalk  --@Alyssa_Roemerrr

No 1 person could ever do what #BellLetsTalk did. But one person can change a life. And that's just as good.  --@heylandsberg

Cancer? Not a choice.
Multiple sclerosis? Not a choice.
Depression? NOT A CHOICE.
Anxiety? NOT A CHOICE.
#BellLetsTalk -- @jacobsterwart_96

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