Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 – Social Media and Mental Health

07 May 2021

The 10th to the 16th of May is Mental Health Awareness Week, and have chosen the theme of #ConnectWithNature for this year’s campaign; taking a break from the online world and getting out and about is helpful to one and all.

For a company that works so closely with all social media platforms, from LinkedIn to Instagram and TikTok, you may wonder why we’re choosing to shed light on a topic that may put social media in a negative viewpoint. But if we are to change the way that online content impacts the population’s mentality, creators such as ourselves are the ones who need to step up and take up some of that responsibility, too.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a society, we have turned to social media more than ever as a form of human interaction with people outside of our homes – and are spending even more time scrolling through our newsfeeds than perhaps we’ve ever done before. That means more time absorbing unrealistic ideations of how we should look, how much money we should be earning, how hard we should be working and the glamorous lives we should be living. But we’re not conjuring up these insecurities and negative thoughts and feelings on our own… the content we are consuming is often pushing us to think this way.

So, as a business or an individual, how can you make sure that your platform reflects a safe online environment for your audience and their minds?

1. Diversity and Representation

Although we have come a long way when it comes to inclusion of people from different cultural backgrounds, of different races, genders and shapes and sizes, our social media feeds are still largely overwhelmed with content representing one modern beauty standard for both men and women. Seeing people on our screens that look like us, rather than a photoshopped version of ourselves, makes us feel less alone and more confident in ourselves. Keep this in mind when choosing models or imagery to post on your social accounts.

2. Be Real

We are past the day and age where perfection is constantly sought after within marketing. Audiences, particularly younger ones such as Gen Z, tend to be more attracted to something raw and real, not pristine and polished. Show the people behind the brand, connect with your followers on a personal level, speak on subjects that your target audience can relate to and show your vulnerable side every so often. Taking yourself seriously is so last decade. 

3. Don’t Use Insecurities as a Strategy to Sell

Beauty and fashion brands are the guiltiest for this, but you can find some form of this selling strategy in almost any industry. We’re talking about your classic ‘Ugly Wrinkles Be Gone’ campaign – making people feel insecure about something as normal and natural as aging to encourage them to spend money on a tub of glorified moisturiser. Instead of marketing a product to completely change their life, market something that’s going to enhance their livelihood and wellbeing. 

4. Spread That Positive Energy!

Overall, do your best to create your own corner of positivity on the internet. Turn your platform into a place where like-minded people are invited to take part in an open conversation. Share content that not only informs, educates or helps to sell, but also brings a smile to people’s faces. Make jokes, share quotes, join in on entertaining trends. Joy will become your best selling point. 

We hope you all take time to check in with your own mental health this week, and with your loved ones. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health problems, we urge you to seek help. Call the Samaritans on 116 123 or any other mental health hotline or contact your GP.