Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Our Debut

Our first chat was held on February 9th at 9Pm CST and I have to say I am quite pleased with the turnout and content! I have to admit, although I came up with the idea with initial enthusiasm and excitement I was a little unsure for a while just before the chat. I wondered if the community would embrace this opportunity and if I was the right person to get this started. I promoted the chat very little in the days prior to the chat, but some faithful friends in the mental health community on Twitter rallied and reassured me that this was indeed a good thing. So, we had our debut and I will call it a success!

I began the chat with the question:
"What are your goals for using social media in regards to mental health?"

And the conversation easily flowed from there...

Topics such as stigma, support and awareness were brought up, but plenty of room left to delve into them further. Some of the tweets that made the greatest impact on me personally follow:

@markvanbaale I could really see where talking openly about one's struggles using tools like Twitter, blogs, etc. makes one not feel alone #mhsm

@moritherapy @markvanbaale the transparency of social media is a wonderful antidote against the stigma associated with #mentalhealth #mhsm

@markvanbaale @moritherapy Amen! I really think social media has its merits when used to connect those who are struggling with depression, etc. #mhsm

@markvanbaale Question for all on #mhsm chat: With openness of Twitter and other SM channels, do you ever feel "labeled" if you share about ur struggles?

@petequily @markvanbaale yes there can be stigma attached but sometimes you also find unexpected support. Also important to call out stigmatizers #mhsm (I especially liked this one)

@moritherapy @markvanbaale no, i actually find being open about #mentalhealth freeing. #mhsm

@MHSMchat RT @moritherapy yay! @petequily says it's important to call out stigmatizers on social media. #mhsm

@moritherapy another question: how can social media help bring more awareness and less stigma to mental health in the work place? #mhsm

@petequily 12 Ways to Fight Mental Health #Stigma With Social Media corrected link #mhsm #mentalhealth

@petequily .@MHSMchat @markvanbaale labels are neutral. can be used for good ie find diagnosis, treatment, resources or for harm ie stigmatizers #mhsm

@esmeralda73 Proposed a paper to counselling class re: socmed for mental health... response ...will encourage isolation and "pseudo" relationships #mhsm (want to touch on this topic again!)

@mentalhealthpro @MHSMchat social media gives us a bigger voice and more choice without the fear of stigma. #mhsm

These are just a few of the tweets that stood out to me, but they were all important and added to the conversation. You can find a complete archive of the chat at so kindly created by @petequily. You can also find a wrap up post by @moritherapy at You can see a few key contributors really made this first chat work and I am ever thankful for their participation. I look forward to their continued participation and for others to join in!

My vision for this chat is to bring the entire mental health community on Twitter together so that we can raise awareness, end stigma and continue our education process together. This means professionals in the field, activists, advocates, and those who struggle with mental health issues themselves are all welcome and part of this effort. We are all working towards the same goal, better health, and together we can create something very special.

Please join us at the next Mental Health Social Media chat Tuesday February 16th, 2010 at 9pm CST. Don't forget to use the hashtag #mhsm and connect with me on twitter at @MHSMchat and @Abeeliever.

Feel free to send emails regarding the chat, feedback, ideas, etc. to

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