The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Instagram have partnered up to start #RealConvos about mental health.
A new public awareness campaign is working to shed light on the conversation about mental health.
According to the Washington Post, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Instagram have teamed up for the campaign in hopes that it will lead to more conversation around the topic.
The idea is that Instagram users will tag content with #RealConvo when a post discusses mental health.
As a kickoff to the campaign, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Instagram account featured what they called a “grid takeover” in which the organization shared video stories of nine individuals who spoke candidly about mental health and the importance of sharing one’s struggles on social media (in addition to victories).
Some well-known names participated in the campaign, including Pretty Little Liars actress Sasha Pieterse.
“I think a lot of people are scared of the term mental health,” Pieterse wrote in one post. “Why is it so taboo to talk about? We as a society seem to be way too concerned about what people think. We are all guilty of it. We are all guilty of comparing ourselves to others, feeling like we aren’t valuable, like we don’t deserve or aren’t worthy of the things we hope for in life.”
Pieterse also touched on the campaign specifically, pointing others to use the hashtag and encouraging them to learn more about the efforts.
“Everybody should be doing their best to keep their mental health in check, and that means we should be having #realconvo’s about the way we feel and why,” she added. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to be raw. That’s where we find the diamonds within us.”
Even if someone is not comfortable sharing their own story, others tagging posts allows them to search the hashtag as well and realize they are not the only ones struggling.
According to the Washington Post, searching #RealConvo “reveals graphics, photos and personal stories aimed to inspire, reduce stigma, reframe how people think of mental health, and help people get help if they need it. Candid personal stories give difficult issues—such as anxiety, self-criticism, grief and post-traumatic stress disorder—faces and names.”
As always, social media is not a replacement for real help. If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 741741 to the Crisis Text Line.