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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 124

Effective use of social media platforms for promotion of mental health awareness


Department of Mental Health Education, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K Latha
Department of Mental Health Education, Ground Floor, Dr. M V Govindaswamy Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_90_20

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BACKGROUND: Social media platforms are progressively developing as a rich source of mass communication. Increasing mental health awareness with the help of social media can be a good initiative to reach out to a large number of people in a short time frame. This study was conducted to understand the usefulness of social media platforms for health promotion. MATERIALS AND METHODS: It was a qualitative study to evaluate the effectiveness of social media platforms in hosting health promotion campaigns in the field of mental health, which was observed over 5 months from May to September 2019 to reach more people for effective information dissemination. The campaigns were as follows (1) The Buddies for Suicide Prevention: an online campaign to create awareness about suicide prevention. The campaign included script writing, slogan writing, poster making, and short films making, organized for the general public who were interested to take part; (2) The #Iquitobacco was a 21-day campaign with an idea of tobacco cessation in the community, conducted among social media viewers who were willing to participate; and (3) #Migrainethepainfultruth was yet another campaign conducted among the social media viewers who were interested to participate. All the campaigns were conducted using two famous social media platforms commonly used by young adults. Descriptive statistics such as frequency and proportions were computed for the number of likes and shares. RESULTS: The Facebook and Instagram posts concerning all the campaigns brought about a considerable amount of reach to the targeted population. After the campaigns, the page reached to around 10.3 k people (both fans and nonfans). CONCLUSIONS: Use of social media to conduct mental health campaigns is an effective initiative as one can reach out to several people over a short time period. There is an increasing trend in the awareness of mental health with the effective use of digital media as a platform for disseminating information.


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