Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

 

Social media trends might come and go, but they give you windows to start important conversations about mental health 

 

You might have seen the #PostYourPill has been circulating social media, led by Dr Alex George. It might look like just another social media trend, it might last a few days, weeks, or months before dropping off the grid.  This latest campaign is trying to shed light on the stigma facing people who take medication for their mental health and trying to take steps in normalising conversations around mental health. 

 

But what does all this mean to you?

 

Why is the post a pill campaign important? 

After getting a comment that he was unfit to be an A&E doctor because he was taking medication to help his mental health, Dr Alex George took to social media. By sharing, he also highlighted the very same experience that so many other people have when they talk about taking medication to help with or manage a mental health condition. 

 

In a bid to try and bring light to this medication stigma and create more awareness about mental health, Dr George started Post Your Pill. Where on the 1st of the month people on social media can post a picture of their medication. If they choose they can also share why they take the medication and how it helps them. 

 

Now. I can hear some of your thoughts already from all the way over here. This is all great stuff, but what does it have to do with me?

 

This campaign, and others like it, creates an opportunity for you to do a few things:

 

  • To send a message to people in your community who have issues with their mental health. Letting them know that you see them and they’re welcome in your space.

 

  • To create a conversation about mental health and be part of breaking down the barriers and stigma around it.

 

  • It gives you an opportunity to find and share relevant resources about mental health and wellbeing and share them with your clients, customers or followers. 

 

If you don’t think people in your community have mental health issues, think again. 

 

Mental Health Facts

 

It is estimated that around 75% of the people in England who have a mental health condition aren’t getting the treatment they need. In addition if your audience is male dominant, men are even less likely to speak about their struggles with mental health. They are also less likely to access the support they need and rates of death by suicide are three times higher for men compared to women.

 

If your business is built on a  whole health approach and you’re not talking about mental health, then you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle. 

 

Health without mental health is not complete health. It’s like getting in a car with no engine and wondering why it won’t go anywhere.

Ant without Dec. 

A pizza without cheese.   

One doesn’t really make sense without the other. 

 

Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash

Talking about mental health 

 

I think that one of the reasons that people shy away from talking about mental health is because they don’t want to get it wrong by saying or sharing the wrong information. 

 

Health misinformation is a huge issue. Especially on social media as more people are using it to find information and advice. In a recent review of health misinformation on social media, diets and eating disorders, and medical treatments and health interventions were two of the six topics where health misinformation is most shared. 

 

This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid talking about mental health, it just means you need to either share what you know or get your information from a decent source. You can find out more about this on my blog about making mental health content trustworthy

 

If you work with people with mental health issues, they don’t need you to diagnose, treat or manage the condition for them. They just need to know you have their back. That your business isn’t just another community where there is a sign saying everyone is welcome… but could you please leave your mental baggage at the door. 

 

One of the easiest ways to start is to talk about what you know. If you’re a nutritionist and you know that there’s a connection between mood and diet, talk about it. If you’re a personal trainer and you know that exercise releases endorphins that can help with depression and anxiety, talk about it. 

 

 

Tips on starting the conversation

If you’re feeling stuck on where to begin with starting conversations about mental health, here are three ways you can get going:

 

1. Ask

 

Ask your audience what they would like to see. You could do this face to face, with a poll or social media post. Collect ideas and see what you can do and what you might 

need to outsource 

 

2. Create

 

Once you know what you want to talk about, create a place for those conversations to happen. You might do some instagram lives with an

expert in that area, or have someone write some guest blogs for your website.

 

3. Speak out

The biggest way we can start stamp out stigma and improve mental health awareness is by normalising conversations about it. The more people who see that mental health is part of a complete health approach, the more they will feel comfortable talking about their own experiences and getting help if they need it. 

 

Takeaways 

 

Mental health is a player in the whole health team. If you’re promoting health, wellness or fitness then you need to be able to discuss mental health. 

 

Campaigns like PostYourPill are great reminders that lots of people don’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health. It’s likely that some of your clients are holding back talking about mental health issues that will be impacting their physical health. 

 

Just sharing someone else’s post can highlight to people that you want to help increase awareness. 

 

Don’t put pressure on yourself to be the expert in mental health topics, keep to what you know. If you’re not sure then reach out to a mental health professional who you can link up with or ask them to guest post to share reliable information. 

 

Three ways that you can start holding conversations about mental health include; asking what people want to know about, creating space to have those conversations and speaking out and being part of the conversation. 

If you’re looking for support from a mental health professional to create content about mental health, get in touch by email or my contact forms to book a call.