There was a time when a diagnosis of mental illness was considered a shameful thing — something to be hidden away. We’ve come a long way since those days but the stigma has not been completely removed.
Social media may play a role in opening the lines of communication and reducing feelings of isolation. It can provide a forum for sharing experiences and an outreach path for others. This can be done anonymously or with full disclosure, according to each person’s wishes.
Recently Vancouver hosted the Mental Health Camp – a conference about mental health and social media.
“It is difficult for people to talk about it, in any way at all, even with really close friends,” said Isabella Mori, a counsellor and co-founder with environmental scientist Raul Pacheco-Vega of Mental Health Camp, now in its second year. “It’s only between 30 and 35 per cent of people who have a mental illness who actually ever approach a professional.”
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