You might be surprised at what company is taking major strides to open up difficult conversations and end the stigma against mental illness.
Instagram is stepping up to the plate this May, which is also Mental Health Awareness Month.
In a time where social media can feed into mental illness, it’s nice to see one platform trying to flip the script.
Using the hashtag #HereForYou, Instagram is hoping to highlight the stories of people sharing their own mental health journeys on the social media platform. The company teamed up with Pretty Little Liars actress Troian Bellisario to promote the campaign. It is intended to encourage people to share their stories if they are comfortable, or at least show them that they are not alone on their journey. Instagram’s COO Marne Levine explains,
“People come to Instagram to tell their stories in a visual, and through an image, they’re able to communicate how they’re feeling, what they’re doing. So what we decided to do is to create a video campaign highlighting these communities of support that exist in Instagram.”
Troian, who struggled with eating disorders herself, really pinpoints why this campaign is so important so social media specifically. She said,
“I have a lot of friends … and fans, who feel sometimes like Instagram is the place in which you have to make your life perfect. You have to show only the best version of your life. Only the happy moments. Only the highlights. And it leaves a huge part of your life that is hidden and in the dark.”
This can surely be said of many people. Portraying the best versions of ourselves on social media is often the goal of using the platform in the first place. Or perhaps we see posts from others about how great their lives appear, and it makes us feel like we are doing something wrong. If we are all hiding behind these potential facades, it may be hard to tell if someone is suffering.
We are excited to see celebrities and businesses with strong followings take a stand in the name of important issues such as mental health. Lady Gaga and Prince William recently shared a Skype conversation they had regarding ending the stigma of mental illness. Chrissy Teigen also recently opened up about her own battle with postpartum depression. It continues to show that no matter how much money or success you have, mental illness can affect anyone. We’re all in this together, so let’s try to help each other out.