Healthy Minds Network Webinar: Harnessing Social Media: Entering the World of Young People to Promote Wellness and Resilience

This past week, I was able to listen in on a very informative webinar that discussed the ever evolving uses of social media, specifically regarding post-secondary students. Speakers looked that the usage of differing types of social media and the different types of exchanges that each are used for. Another speaker examined the growing interest and demand to extend mental health services and interventions to students through social media. This offers students more customizable services that allow them to access supports while keeping their anonymity. By extension, the last speaker was focused on finding ways to get students engaged.

The last speaker, Blake Wagner who is affiliated with Healthy Minds Network (HMN) and Inkblots, discussed results from a focus group held with post-secondary students and found that  some of the major barriers to students engaging in help seeking behaviour are some of the following beliefs:

  • Believing they can fix mental health issues on their own
  • Questioning whether issues are serious enough to warrant seeking help
  • Normalizing high stress levels
  • Being too busy to actively seek help

During these same discussions, five themes emerged as being necessary components to being successful in reaching students through social media:

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  • Engaging
  • Brief
  • Convenient 
  • Relevant
  • Practical application

In consideration of both the barriers and subsequent themes that emerged in discussions, inkblots and HMN partnered to created videos to grab students attention and to use these videos as a means to spread awareness. These videos are part of the 'Tiny Shifts can Lead to Big Changes' campaign. Follow the link below to view the videos. The cinematography is stunning, and portrays a powerful and provoking message.

The goal of 'Tiny Shifts can Lead to Big Changes' is to increase access to services and improve resiliency and mental health, particularly among young people. The videos emphasize the capacity to change cognitive, emotive, and behavioural processes. Pilot RCTs are under development for testing the videos in college, high school, and employer populations.  

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If you would like to view the presentation you can head to the Healthy Minds Network website, with the link posted below. Mental health webinars are often offered through this website, so it is worth checking out regularly.

All the best,

Jessica Turowski

ACMHI Project Manager