People are seeking help online because of their mental health problems.
Young adolescents use social media for a variety of reasons. These days, they’re increasingly using their devices to help overcome problems with self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
The best way, of course, to get professional help that is safe and trustworthy can take time and lots of money. Social media, on the other hand, is cheap and quick. But, it’s not always as effective.
In 2018, Statistics Canada conducted a survey of more than 2.3 million Canadians who reported their mental health care was partially met or unmet. The participants were asked to indicate why they could not get the help they needed.
Statistics Canada found that 22.6% of respondents opted to deal with their mental health issues alone. They also sought the help of family and friends. They did not feel ready to see a professional or were uncomfortable with talking about their problems.
Now, there is a new way to get help. A growing industry of “influencers” on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, are offering to communicate with people dealing with mental health problems.
For example, Caroline Moss, an American novelist, started a thread on Twitter about the best takeaways learned at therapy sessions. With over 4,000 replies, 11,000 retweets, and 51,000 likes, people appeared to have been exposed to useful tips about how to deal with their issues.
If you go to therapy quote tweet this with the best thing you learned at therapy that way everyone else can get free therapy— Caroline Moss (@CarolineMoss) November 24, 2019
But there are obvious and glaring downsides to using social media as a tool to get help. We all know that social media platforms are rife with trolling and hazing. This can be destructive. So anyone using social media must be careful and aware.
Still, despite the risks, many young people are turning to social media for help.
“I don’t have the accessibility to go to [a therapist]. I don’t really have the money, and honestly, I’m kind of scared,” says Emily Drobena, a student suffering from mental health problems.
Seeking professional help can sometimes be vital in saving a life. But, as Statistics Canada found, some people feel comfortable seeking help elsewhere rather than a professional.
A growing community of strangers who may never meet, create bonds through tweeting, re-tweeting, or commenting on a post. Friendships are easily made.
Although it may not solve everyone’s problems, it can give some people hope and guidance.