Social Media Platforms Aid Mental Health Discussion

Story by Marley Denise
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

Mental health has been a subject that most people would rather not discuss for decades. In recent years, however, millennials and celebrities alike are taking the time to stand up and speak out about this stigma through the platform of social media.

Specifically, social media site Tumblr has been a positive outlet for people to share their personal struggles. Tumblr is a blogging site that allows users to post their own content or reblog pictures, quotes, gifs, etc. Users can anonymously message other users as well.

This site gives people the courage to reach out to others with similar feelings and issues that they are experiencing. Charlotte Hatfield, a junior, uses the site and is diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety.

“People don’t understand that you can be depressed yet still smile and seem fine. It’s one of those things that not everyone can wrap their heads around, so people experiencing these struggles don’t find peace in venting to those who can’t understand even though they may be your best friend, Hatfield said. “Social media allows people to connect through words and thoughts by surrounding yourself with people who understand and think the same way can make you feel as if you’re not alone.”

Hatfield personally finds Tumblr the easiest social media to express thoughts.

“Reading through other people’s thoughts can often be more helpful than trying to express my own,” she said.

Similarly, celebrities like Demi Lovato and Kid Cudi have been catalysts for spreading awareness of mental health. Lovato was diagnosed with the depression phase of bipolar disorder. Once she understood her illness and could begin controlling it, she has vocalized her daily struggles with her fans and 40 million Twitter followers.

Kid Cudi has tweeted in is support of his followers and their personal journeys, too.

Hatfield, as well as Cudi and Lovato have proven one thing to be absolutely true about the mental health conversation – the only way to remove the stigma is to talk about it.

Each year, Oct. 10 is known as World Mental Health Day, but the conversation doesn’t have to be contained to one day. Hashtags are used across many social media platforms as a means for discussion and the awareness about mental illness. Every conversation is one step closer to understanding.

*If you or someone you know is in need of counseling or additional mental health services, contact information is listed below.

Counseling Services
CMU Counseling Center
Community Resources

24/7 Crisis Hotlines
National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
Listening Ear – Isabella County: 989-772-2918
SAPA: 989-774-CALL (2255)