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Thursday, October 5, 2017

How Social Media Can Save a Life

Numerous studies have noted the harmful effects of social media on your mental health – but, when used properly, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat can also be a positive way to connect those in need to proper mental health care and support. 

Personal social media accounts “can provide an important window into a person’s state of mind,” according to research by the Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office.

As part of its Mental Illness Awareness Week efforts, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recently ran an article entitled “Can Social Media Save a Life?” that talked about how social media can be used to identify mental health warning signs among friends and family. 

“It’s up to us to look out for mental health warning signs while on social media so we are better prepared to assist a friend in need,” wrote NAMI. 

Here are some of the behaviors to watch out for: 

1. Cyberbullying
  • Harassing messages or comments
  • Fake accounts made to impersonate someone else
  • Someone posting unwanted pictures or images of another person
2. Negative statements about themselves, even if it sounds like they are joking:
  • “I’m a waste of space.”
  • “No one cares about me.”
  • “I seriously hate myself.”
3. Negative leading statements, with little to no context that prompt others to respond:
  • “You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through.”
  • “Today was the worst day ever.”
  • “It’s like everyone is against me.”
As you scroll through your social media feeds, the NAMI urges you to be mindful of what others are posting. This way, you can know when to reach out and offer support or even "save a life."

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment at Hope Academy
Existing mental health issues often surface during addiction recovery. That’s why we offer treatment protocols for co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illnesses. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

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