Face-to-Face or Facebook?


This workshop aims to improve our understanding of how social media is helping to create and facilitate new spaces for mental health practices and support.


We explore the benefits of social media and social networking to improve self-identity, self-expression, community building and emotional support through examining a few popular international examples. Participants and facilitators will engage in an interactive session to understand how new tools for self-expression via pictures, videos, captions and short personal narratives can help break down the stigma surrounding mental health and perhaps even lead to more people seeking help.

The workshop will also explore how to empower young people in particular to use social networks in a way that promotes their mental health and wellbeing. It will explore how to harness the power of social media to nurture mental health innovations that the future holds.

    Community building and self-expression


    Can expressing yourself to strangers and telling your story via pictures, captions or small narratives help break down the stigma surrounding mental health? Can it lead to more people seeking help?

    • With more than one million followers, Jovanny Varela-Ferreya operates his popular page under the creed "mental health over every damn thing." The Artidote https://www.facebook.com/the.artidote/ - started in Berlin
    • A community to share expressions and tell stories, allowing you to connect with others and raise your voice for mental health. First youth-only campaign designed by young people for young people (www.itsoktotalk.in #ItsOkBaatKaro) – started in New Delhi.
    • Talk Life, a new App to 'talk with people who get you' and 'share the good and not so good' https://talklife.co

    Learning Objectives


    1.    To gain a non-clinical understanding of how mental health support can permeate through online support networks.

    2.    To examine a few popular social media and digital community building movements aimed at improving mental health. These include The Artidote (with more than 1 million followers and operated via SnapChat), It’s Ok Baat Karo (the first youth-only social media campaign designed by young people for young people in India) and Talk Life (a popular new mental health app to 'talk with people who get you' and 'share the good and not so good).

    3.    To develop a better understanding of social media as a new culture that can support people with mental health problems, in particular young people.



    ...a digital window into the social media world of young people might provide insights and ideas on how to better serve their mental health needs...