Breaking the stigma about mental health through conversation
The stress of a global pandemic and the isolation caused by lockdowns has triggered a shadow pandemic; a mental health crisis across much of the world. However, the prolonged effects of the pandemics have led to the increased public conversations on issues of mental health and well-being.
In recognition of this year’s World Mental Health Day (Oct 10), Twitter is continuing its commitment to protecting the health of the public conversation and for the people to have a free as well as safe space to talk openly about their struggles with mental health.
“Twitter is committed to continue protecting the public conversations and making it easier for people to receive help and support on mental health issues. We’ve partnered with local mental health authorities and nonprofits organizations across Southeast Asia to understand public conversations on mental health, promote advocacy and campaigns and launch #ThereIsHelp – a notification service that provides valuable mental health information and resources. We look forward to continuing the collaboration with more mental health organizations across the region to expand our efforts for those in need,” said Monrawee Ampolpittayanant – Head of Public Policy, Government and Philanthropy, Southeast Asia at Twitter.
Twitter’s #ThereisHelp Notification service and Search Prompt for Suicide and Self-Harm
Launched in 2019, the #ThereIsHelp notification service provides valuable mental health resources to vulnerable people and encourages them to seek professional help. Twitter also launched of a dedicated search prompt for suicide and self-harm to more than 30 markets globally to amplify awareness and help connect people with valuable mental health resources in partnership with local mental health authorities and nonprofits.
We also believe that preventing suicide and addressing mental health requires collaboration across all of society — public, private and non-profit. This is work we can only do effectively by collaborating with local government agencies and NGO partners such as Into the Light Indonesia (@IntoTheLightID), Samaritans of Thailand (@Samaritans_Thai); Department of Mental Health Thailand (@PR_dmh); Mental Health PH (@MentalHealthPH) who is one of our Trust & Safety Council members on suicide prevention and mental health; and National Center for Mental Health, Philippines (@ncmhhotline), BefriendersKL (@BefriendersKL), and Samaritans of Singapore (@samaritansofsg) in addressing and destigmatising mental health issues through conversations on the platform in Southeast Asia.
“One life lost to suicide is one life too many. #MentalHealthPH sees suicide and self-harm to be a significant public health issue yet remained to be highly misunderstood and stigmatized. We believe we could change this by providing a regular space for people to talk about mental health. We can normalize the discussion and save someone’s life. For over 4 years, we have been carrying out #UsapTayo (Let’s talk), a Twitter conversation held every 10th, 20th, and 30th of the month that seeks to educate, work towards zero suicides and destigmatize mental health. We are excited to join other mental health organizations in Asia on September 10 to exchange ideas on how we can reduce suicide and self-harm not only in the Philippines but also globally.” said Roy Dahildahil, MSc, Co-founder and Executive Director, Mental Health PH.
“For almost three years, we’ve already helped over 25,000 Filipinos. Since the pandemic started, people have been relying on digital platforms to get help. Through Twitter Spaces, we wanted to join other organizations in Asia to reach more people and create a suicide-safer community!” said National Center for Mental Health, Philippines.
To raise more awareness on this important issue, we are launching a custom emoji representing the international symbol for mental health awareness that is available throughout this October. A green ribbon emoji will automatically appear in your tweet when you Tweet out with one of the hashtags #UsapTayo, #TuloyAngKwento, #WorldMentalHealthDay, #WMHD2021, #MentalHealth, #MentalHealthMatters, #MentalHealthForAll #MentalHealthAwareness, #StepUp2021, #OnMyMind and #MentalHealthinanUnequalWorld.
Covid-19 has encouraged acknowledgement that mental health challenges are not a reflection of character but of circumstance – often beyond our control. This World Mental Health Day remember that you are not alone and #ThereIsHelp out there.