Identity and Online Advocacy

The Benefits of Social Media Use Towards Mental Health


The effects of social media have been highly discussed in the contemporary times. In the 21st century, these platforms have essentially become ingrained in the daily lives of many individuals. When it comes to the topic of mental health, there is largely a negative view on how social media impacts an individual’s mental state. Most people tend to overlook the fact that social media can be used as a tool to help combat mental disorders. This paper explores how there are many positive effects on mental health that can be gained from the usage of social media through online advocacy. 


For the youth of today, digital technologies have become a common feature in their lives. Research conducted on children in the US has shown that children under the age of two are already exposed to screens, spending an average of forty-two minutes everyday consuming screen media(Nesi, 2020). Recent statistics representative of US adolescents shows that 88% of them have access to a laptop or computer at home, while 95% of them between the age of 13 to 18 have access to a smartphone (Nesi, 2020). The widespread use and accessibility of new media has caused the growth of complex environment for parents, policymakers, health care providers and the youth. Over the recent years, the conceptualization and definition of mental health has evolved significantly. It has shifted away from the absence of mental disorders being equated with positive functioning and positive emotions. The flexible definition of mental health states that it is a dynamic state of internal equilibrium that enables people to utilize their abilities like basic cognitive and social skills to regulate their emotions, empathize with others, cope with challenges in life and function in social situations (Nesi, 2020). It is a harmonious relationship between mind and body (Nesi, 2020). Studies done recently show that people with mental health issues are using and gaining more access to mobile devices. In 2015, research showed that about a bisection of sample psychiatric patients were users of social media, with higher usage among younger individuals (Naslund et al., 2020). For many people suffering from mental illnesses, social media has become a common fixture in their lives (Naslund et al., 2020). Social media is commonly referred to mobile platforms or web which is used by people to connect with others within the bounds of a virtual network (Naslund et al., 2020). Although this media environment poses some mental health risks, it has brought to light many opportunities and benefits in the 21st century. 

Benefits of Social Media on Mental Health 

Studies done by the World Health Organisation have shown that around 264 million people in the world suffer from depression. Furthermore, around 800,000 suicides take place every year. These findings cement how mental health illnesses are a huge global issue (Makita et al., 2020). However, the topic of mental health is still clouded by stigma and discrimination, making it hard for people suffering from these conditions to seek help or talk about it. Social media acts as a public platform where people can discuss these difficult issues, as it reduces the negative connotations that come with face- to- face interaction (Makita et al., 2020). With these social sites, they can find advice and support in an environment without judgement. Twitter is a social network used to create and share many types of digital content and information (Makita et al., 2020). When compared to other sites like Facebook, Twitter gives users the option of remaining anonymous and this creates a “safe” space to share content relating to mental health in the form of images, comments, news, videos and audios. Thus, it creates a non- intrusive and practical way to gather mental health discourse texts, which includes stigmatizing and discriminatory language (Makita et al., 2020). Results of a study done by Naslund  shows that people suffering from serious mental issues report that they gain benefits such as feelings of belonging in a group and greater social connectedness from communicating with peers online. They share their own experiences and strategies on how to cope with daily challenges of living with mental illnesses. Online advocacy is seen when individuals suffering from serious mental ailments challenge the stigma attached to this issue by providing hope to others and emphasizing personal empowerment. (Naslund et al., 2016).  

In the online environment, interactions among peers can take place at an increased immediacy, intensity and frequency. Unfortunately, this could create potential risk factors towards adolescences’ mental health (Nesi, 2020). The experience of being bullied by peers online, also known as cybervictimization, has shown to be related to higher rates of suicidal behaviour and self- harm, as well as externalizing and internalizing issues (Nesi, 2020). The influence of online peers may be increased online, making it more likely for other users to engage in the risky behaviours being depicted on social media such as alcohol and substance abuse. A study was done on around 400 youth who were hospitalized because of risk of harm to others and themselves (Nesi, 2020). It was found that a small but significant proportion of them stated that they consumed online content that glorified self- injury (16.6%) or suicide (14.8%) during the two weeks before their admission (Nesi, 2020). While these effects are apparent, social media possesses unique features that create new opportunities for assisting the mental health among adolescents. Identity exploration, entertainment, humour and creative expression are some of the benefits associated with social media use (Nesi, 2020). Social connection is one of the more obvious benefits of social media use, with 81% of teens stating that social media helps them feel closer to their friends (Nesi, 2020). Social media is highly- accessible and public, so it also creates the opportunity to establish new connections online. For those without supportive and caring communities around them, they can find social support online and feel more secure in their identity (Nesi, 2020). This online support acts as a protective role for adolescence suffering from mental illness, such as suicidality and depression (Nesi, 2020). Another study done shows that more than a half (57%) of youth who have been psychiatrically hospitalized reported that they received encouragement and social support on social sites during two weeks prior to hospitalization (Nesi, 2020). 

Social media can also be a medium for people suffering from mental illnesses to advocate and share anecdotal information, illness and treatment experiences. Witnessing the experiences of other people through their social media posts influences the choices made by patients, especially when deliberating treatment options (Gupta & Ariefdjohan, 2020). Furthermore, hearing how other individuals who suffered from similar mental ailments coped through the disease can change their negative perception towards it and offer a framework on how to manage uncertainties (Gupta & Ariefdjohan, 2020). Unfortunately, if online peers have faced poorly against mental illness, it may cause feelings of despair to increase in individuals. Moreover, constantly looking at others health experiences may reinforce unhealthy habits (Gupta & Ariefdjohan, 2020). In order to overcome this, the content on social media is moderated with the use of “content advisors” that appear when a user tries to search or post using certain tags (Gupta & Ariefdjohan , 2020). A study done by Gupta and Ariefdjohan regarding trends of antidepressant use uncovered that Instagram can provide useful insight into the perceptions and attitudes of people towards the use of antidepressants. Antidepressant use increased by about 65% between 1999 and 2014 (Gupta & Ariefdjohan , 2020). This observation mostly matched the inspection of growth of posts about antidepressant use published on Instagram from 2010 to 2017 (Gupta & Ariefdjohan , 2020). This trend, along with the study results, prove that people being prescribed with antidepressants are using social media to share their experiences with mental illnesses and the proper treatment (Gupta & Ariefdjohan, 2020). In this situation and many other similar ones, online advocacy was used to encourage people with mental issues to seek the care they need.

Healthcare and education systems globally face challenges from the growing pervasiveness of adolescent mental health problems. Between 10 to 20% of adolescents suffer from a mental disorder globally (O’ Reilly et al., 2018). Adolescents tend to spend a large amount of time on social media, with over 90% of them using it regularly (O’ Reilly et al., 2018). Thus, it can be a useful tool in carrying out prevention strategies designed to decrease the prevalence and recurrence of mental issues among them. Adolescents’ social connection, communication and technical skills can be facilitated by the information- dimension, social- dimension and media- related dimension of social media (O’ Reilly et al., 2018). Social media is traditionally used by adolescents to broaden social relationships, increase connectivity and a source of entertainment. However, it is an inexpensive way to get them to have start conversations on, challenge stigma and share information regarding mental health disabilities (O’ Reilly et al., 2018). Moreover, the information found online can be tailored to match the priorities of intended users, due to how versatile it is (O’ Reilly et al., 2018). This is especially important for adolescents because most of them are exposed to media online at a very young age. The normalisation of online media consumption may cause them to lack the skills to critically assess the credibility of this information (O’ Reilly et al., 2018). The internet can be used as an educational tool if used carefully and monitored by appropriate adults, such as teachers. In the 21st century, adolescents are already very familiar with how to navigate these social sites and it has become a part of their identity. They are already using it to educate themselves on mental illnesses and to seek support with complex emotions of stress, anger or sadness (O’ Reilly et al., 2018). Thus, educational and healthcare organisations should take this into account and start using social media to promote wellbeing, mental illness prevention and support for adolescents with diagnosed conditions (O’ Reilly et al., 2018). 

The internet and social media use are ever- present for adolescents, it is ingrained in their daily lives. Studies done in the UK have shown that 99% of them are online for a minimum of 21 hours per week and 83% own a smartphone. Similar figures have been reported across Europe and in the US (O’ Reilly, 2020). Naturally, society is concerned of possible negative consequences of social media platforms on the minds of adolescents, because there is evidence that links social media use to anxiety, depression and low self- esteem (O’ Reilly, 2020). However, the way social media effects and helps these young minds is worth looking further into. Adolescents living in the contemporary society face significant amount of pressure and stress, which can have a negative impact on their mental health. Protecting the mental health of adolescents requires active participation in ventures that decrease stress and help them manage the more difficult aspects of their life (O’ Reilly, 2020). A study done by O’ Reilly on social media and adolescent mental health uncovered the different ways being connected to an electronic device have helped them build resilience against stress. Some participants of this study have stated that social media “can be a distraction from the things around you and makes you less stressed” and “I usually like to go on YouTube, it relaxes me” (O’ Reilly, 2020). Most adolescents also experience similar issues that pose a risk to their mental health. External stressors such as deadlines, exam pressure, school work, maintaining friendships and parental interference may negatively impact adolescents’ mental health. Thus, social media is used as a distraction from those aspects of life viewed as negative forces and actively helps to reduce stress levels (O’ Reilly, 2020). 

In summary, this paper discusses how social media presents various benefits towards people suffering with mental disorders despite the negative rhetoric imbued across mental health practices and government concerns (O’ Reilly, 2020). There is no black and white way of viewing it, as social media and mental health have a multidimensional and complex relationship. However, if used correctly, it will most likely be able to help these individuals deal with their mental struggles. Social media networks create safe and non- judgemental spaces for people struggling with mental disorders to find support and kindness from other individuals. Furthermore, social media allows people with mental disorders to form communities with these supportive people, which is especially beneficial if they do not have these communities in their physical surrounding. Experiences with mental disorders and treatment information can also be shared online, helping spread awareness on the stigmatised topic of mental health while also helping the people struggling with it to feel less alone and more secure in their identity. Adolescence is a stage in one’s life where they will face a heightened risk of developing a mental illness. Given the correct guidance, they can use social media to form healthy relationships, as a source of entertainment and to destress. The presence of new media continuous to grow and become more relevant in our daily lives, so its important to seek out the benefits to effectively use these tools for mental health intervention and screening. 


Gupta, R., & Ariefdjohan, M. (2020). Mental illness on Instagram: a mixed method study to characterize public content, sentiments, and trends of antidepressant use. Journal of Mental Health, 1–8.

Makita, M., Mas-Bleda, A., Morris, S., & Thelwall, M. (2020). Mental Health Discourses on Twitter during Mental Health Awareness Week. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 1–14.

Naslund, J. A., Aschbrenner, K. A., Marsch, L. A., & Bartels, S. J. (2016). The future of mental health care: peer-to-peer support and social media. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences25(2), 113–122.

Naslund, J. A., Bondre, A., Torous, J., & Aschbrenner, K. A. (2020). Social Media and Mental Health: Benefits, Risks, and Opportunities for Research and Practice. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science5(3), 245–257.

Nesi, J. (2020). The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health. North Carolina Medical Journal81(2), 116–121.

O’Reilly, M. (2020). Social media and adolescent mental health: the good, the bad and the ugly. Journal of Mental Health29(2), 200–206.

O’Reilly, M., Dogra, N., Hughes, J., Reilly, P., George, R., & Whiteman, N. (2018). Potential of social media in promoting mental health in adolescents. Health Promotion International34(5), 981–991.

23 thoughts on “The Benefits of Social Media Use Towards Mental Health

  1. Hi Levenia,

    I really enjoyed reading your paper, especially because the topics that you discussed are similarly related to the ones that I discuss within my own paper.

    I find it so interesting how much the positive affects of social media commonly overlooked by its negative ones. As you mentioned, the negative affects that social media can play on one’s mental health shouldn’t be ignored, but equally, the positive impacts that social media can have on mental health shouldn’t be overlooked either.

    As someone who has been exposed to people with particular anxiety disorders, I have found that social media possesses the tools to equip people with applications that can help to improve their mental state. For example, particular meditation applications such as ‘Headspace’ are becoming extremely popular as a vice in which people can use portably at any time to help subside their feelings of anxiety. It also encourages them to partake in healthy habits such a meditation.

    I also really enjoyed the point you made about utilising social media as a platform on which to advocate and educate the public about particular mental health disorders.

    My question to you is if you think that social media has the potential to completely eradicate the need for physical interactive solutions (such as seeing a therapist) or is it still essential that we, as humans, maintain physical relationships and solutions as well as online ones?

    Thanks again for the great read!

  2. Hi Levinia,

    I found your paper very interesting, thank you for sharing it! I loved how you took a unique approach on the subject of social media and mental health, because as you have discussed, many people do not recognise the positive benefits that it can have! As I said in the comments on my paper, I think it is very important to analyse the relationship between social media and mental health in this day and age due to the amount of time that people spend communicating on social networks, which often exceeds the amount of time that they spend communicating in real life!

    I totally agree with your point that social media has offered a space for people to discuss mental health issues without fear of being judged. Many people are scared to express their feelings and issues in face-to-face environments due to the fear of being judged. I think social media has been particularly good at alleviating this issue and making people more comfortable my allowing people to create anonymous accounts and use these to communicate about their real life issues. Do you think that the shift towards nonymity (where people are encouraged to use their real life identities) on platforms like Facebook could have a negative impact on mental health by making people less willing to discuss their issues?

    I find it fascinating when you discussed how social media can reduce mental health by offering a distraction from the stress of everyday life. I never really thought of social media in this way – too often we fall into the habit of thinking that social media is a negative distractions, but I agree it can definitely be positive at improving general wellbeing! I think that this was particularly evident on TikTok during COVID-19 as people posted light hearted videos about the situation, which offered a distraction from the negativity and panic offline (Delhi, 2020)! Do you think that there should be more acceptance for social media as a positive down-time activity due to its positive benefits on mental health?

    Thanks once again for sharing your article and I look forward to your response!

    Delhi, Ni. (2020, March 15). COVID-19 attack: Humorous memes, jokes relieve stress in tough corona times. Hindustan Times.

    1. Hello Rebekah,

      Thanks a bunch for checking out my paper and leaving a comment with some interesting questions!

      To answer your fist question, I do think that the shift towards nonymity may cause people to be more reluctant to discuss their issues for fear that people who know them in the offline world may judge them. Furthermore, they may not want the extra attention or sympathy because it makes them feel uncomfortable. The beauty of social media is that they could create multiple accounts, and use accounts where their identity is revealed for work and to share aspects about themselves they are comfortable with people knowing. Anonymous accounts could be used to join online communities that tackle mental health issues.

      As for your second question, yes I absolutely think so! It should be normalised that browsing social media be used as a positive down- time activity. The distraction and entertainment would be great in helping us wind down for a few moments. Too much stress and continuous strenuous activities could negatively effect one’s mental health. If used in moderation, social media would greatly help relieve some of this stress! For example, scrolling on TikTok and laughing at funny videos always makes me feel so much better after I’ve been grinding on assignments.

      Thank you again for the comment, so glad you enjoyed my paper 🙂

  3. Hi Levinia! I enjoyed learning your point of view in paper that despite of spreading negative effect on people, Social media can help people in a positive way especially people who had mental health issue, by discussing their issue in particular social group in social media and they feel supported.

    My question is, what’s your comment despite on social media being a helping hand for those with mental health issue or other issue but in the other hand the fact that there are also a lot of people who took their lives due to cyber bullying done in social media? is social media supposed to be a helping hand to create a community to help others?

    1. Hi Youshua!

      Thank you for your comment on my paper. I am glad you enjoyed reading about the positive effects social media has on your mental health.

      You also raise an interesting point in your question. I do not deny the fact that cyber bullying is highly dangerous and causes suicide. This is a huge negative impact of social media.

      My paper may be focusing on the benefits of social media to one’s mental health, but I did touch on some negative effects as well. This is because I understand that this issue does not have a black and white answer. As I mentioned in my paper, the experience of being bullied by peers online, also known as cybervictimization, has shown to be related to higher rates of suicidal behaviour and self- harm, as well as externalizing and internalizing issues (Nesi, 2020).

      However, suicides also take place for other reasons besides cyber bullying such as depression, abusive family and bullying in the offline world. People struggling with these issues and are without supportive and caring communities around them can then seek support online (Nesi, 2020). As you have read in my paper, there was a study done which uncovered that more than a half (57%) of youth who have been psychiatrically hospitalized reported that they received encouragement and social support on social sites (Nesi, 2020).

      Thank you again for the question! I hope my answer satisfies you.

      Nesi, J. (2020). The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health. North Carolina Medical Journal, 81(2), 116–121.

  4. Hi Levinia,
    So happy to read your paper, as we hear all the time about the negative effects of social media on mental health. It’s nice to hear about the positives. I find Twitter very supportive I have to say, there are some nice communities there.
    Do you think that sometimes the communities on social media supporting people with mental health might provide an inadvertent barrier to recovery? If a person recovers, and is better, do they get less attention and interaction from others in their group? Does the membership of the community provide an identity that the person is reluctant to forgo?
    thanks, sonia

    1. Hi Sonia,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read paper and comment! I’m glad to hear that you were able to find some supportive communities on Twitter. That is one of my favourite aspects of social media, you can meet so many new and wonderful people and form supportive communities.

      You have posed many interesting questions here! Personally, I think that these communities may provide barriers to recovery if individuals find themselves in toxic spaces. People may hide their toxic ideologies behind the guise of wanting to “help” you. Individuals who happen to be in these communities should always be aware of the people they are communicating with and cut them off if this situation occurs. We are responsible for our online experiences.

      If a person recovers and is better, they may get less attention from the group. But is that really a bad thing? The attention should go towards the people who need more help. Those who recovered can still be part of the conversation by giving advice to those who are still struggling. They do not have to let go of their space in the community completely, they just have to change their role in the community to fit who they are now.

      This just proves that social media platforms can be a great space if used wisely.

  5. Hi Levinia!

    This was quite a fascinating read. There has been much discussion regarding the negative effects that social media can have on mental health, but little thought into the positive effects. I think these negative perceptions towards the impact of social media on mental health come from a rather generalised understanding of how users interact with the content and other users on these platforms, which is far from straight forward but riddled with complexities.

    I think you raise some really interesting points in your paper. In particular, you look at how social media can be used as a way of disseminating correct and reliable information regarding mental health. Could you elaborate a little more about what you mean when you say that “the internet can be used as an educational tool if used carefully and monitored by appropriate adults, such as teachers”? If there are any examples that you are aware of, I would be really interested in learning about them!

    When you discussed community online as providing support and care, I found that my brain immediately went to the potential negative effects of this. I started thinking of the communities online that do provide these qualities, but at the same time encourage mental illness through this intimacy too, such as pro-anorexia groups (Haas et al, 2010). You mention this glorification of mental illness too with reference to the study by Nesi (2020), but I think you highlighted this aspect well, saying that although the affordances of social media can be used in these ways, it can also be used for advocacy and recovery by encouraging those to seek help. This was something I had not considered at first, but I found was really compelling to read as it challenged my initial perceptions.

    You also refer to several studies, with varying geographic locations as well as demographics. It would have been interesting if you had drilled down further into a specific segment of users. For instance, how do you think age affects a topic like this? I imagine that the practices used by young adolescents on social media in relation to mental health would be rather different to that of adults.

    Again, a really interesting read, and I think this is a topic that will soon become much more prevalent in mainstream discourse.

    Haas, S. M., Irr, M. E., Jennings, N. A., & Wagner, L. M. (2010). Communicating thin: A grounded model of Online Negative Enabling Support Groups in the pro-anorexia movement. New Media & Society, 13(1), 40-57.
    Nesi, J. (2020). The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health. North Carolina Medical Journal, 81(2), 116–121.

    1. Hi Gemma,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my paper. Indeed, most people tend to highlight the negative effects of social media because they have a very generalised and shallow view of the platforms. This prevents them from experiencing the benefits that these social media platforms could bring to their mental health.

      You pointed out how I mentioned that the internet can be utilised as an educational tool if used carefully and monitored by responsible adults. What I mean by this is that a lot of the times, younger people do not know how to navigate the internet in a safe and constructive way. They need someone to point them in the right direction, such as teachers. For example, teachers could come up with education activities to do in class that utilise the internet. That way, they can monitor how students are using these platforms and give them advice on how to gain more knowledge online.

      I’m very happy that you picked up on how i explored the negative effects these online communities could have towards an individuals mental health. There is no black and white way of viewing this issue, while these negative aspects exist such as the intimacy encouraging mental illness (Haas teal,2010), so many people could benefit from the support and advice that can be found in these online spaces.

      In relation to your last question, I agree that my paper could have been strengthened if I had gone a little bit more into specific segments of users of social media sites. In my opinion, I think age definitely plays a huge difference in how young adolescents and adults utilise social media in relation to mental health. Younger people may be prone to flock to online communities to seek mental health advice and support because they are more familiar with online spaces compared to adults, and therefore feel more comfortable with these spaces. Adults may stay away because they aren’t very trusting of thes spaces, therefore I feel that information of the benefits of social media towards mental health should be talked about more!

      Thanks again for the comment and the thought provoking questions!

  6. Hi Levinia,

    That was a very well written article! I really enjoyed reading this article a counter argument to the usual norm of ‘negative effects’ of social media. As a person who does suffer from mental health, it was definitely very insightful and re-assuring to read this paper. To also mention, I do really like the idea you use both arguments of how social media could be harmful but really backed up your conference paper with evidence of how it does in fact have benefits. Great Article!!

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thank you so much for your comment! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed my paper, and that it was reassuring to someone who experiences the very issues I discuss in my paper.

      I also experience mental health issues, and I have found that social media has been very useful to me in getting advice and information on how to take care of my mental health. This is why I wanted to show others how these online platforms can have a positive impact towards mental health, because people tend to only focus on the negative side. However, social media can definitely also be detrimental to mental health. That is why it is important to use it in a way that is beneficial and steer away from the harmful aspects of social media. I’m glad you liked how i explored that!

      Thanks again!!

  7. Hi Levina,

    I really enjoyed reading your paper as it was so interesting to portray the positive effects that social media can have on one’s mental health and identity. It changes from all the usual negative outcomes that social media provides. While reading your paper, I could see that you did good research in order to back up your arguments. However, what I could suggest is that you could have found even more scholarly pieces in order to give even more weight to your paper.
    I personally enjoyed reading your paragraph about social media as a medium to “advocate and share anecdotal information, illness and treatment experiences. ” It is well written and very informative. Thank you for your paper.

    I encourage you to come and read my paper on natural hair vloggers and communities on youtube and their impact on black women’s identity:

    1. Hello Rachel, thank you so much for taking the time to check out my paper!

      Yes, I decided to explore the positive sides of social media to mental health because it is so often overlooked, sometimes not even considered a possibility. I’m glad you enjoyed my section on how social media can be a platform to share useful information on mental health! I think that’s one of the most important benefits because of how easy it is to access this highly helpful information for free.

      I agree that more articles would have helped me make a stronger case, and i will definitely keep that in mind for my future papers and essays. Thank you so much for the advice.

      I would also love to check out your paper, it sounds very interesting. I shall check it out soon. Thanks again!

  8. Hi Levinia!
    I love how you have shown the positives in relation to mental health that come out of social media use. Sometimes we focus on the negatives of social media so much, so this paper was very refreshing.
    It would be interesting to see where participants in your papers mental health issues resulted from, and if in some cases social media may have been a negative but then a positive later? I know lots of self-comparisons can be made resulting in self-esteem issues and potentially further to mental health issues.
    Despite my question, I find it amazing that people are now talking openly about something that was perhaps more taboo, and finding others that can relate to them and show them that they aren’t alone. I think these communities would be a great support system!

    1. Hello, Alicia! Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my paper and leaving a comment.

      I’m glad you liked how I focused on the positive aspects of social media use towards mental health, as I notice people are always looking for the negative effects of these platforms. There is no doubt that there is a dark side to social media usage, but so does everything else in life. The communities formed online that focus on helping those suffering with mental health issues are sometimes even more supportive than the ones we have around us in our daily lives!

      As for your first question, a large portion of these study results come from people who live in the US. For example, a study done by Nesi in 2020 on US adolescents showed that around 400 youth who were hospitalized because of risk of harm to others and themselves (Nesi, 2020). As mentioned in my paper, about 16.6% of them consumed online content that glorified self- injury and suicide (14.8%) during the two weeks before their admission in a psychiatric hospital (Nesi, 2020). However, the existence of social media allows teens to meet people that are willing to give them advice and support. 81% of these teens in Nesi’s study have stated that social media helps them feel closer to their friends (Nesi, 2020). Nesi’s study also uncovered that more than a half (57%) of youth that were psychiatrically hospitalized said they received encouragement and social support on social sites (Nesi, 2020).

      Thanks again for the read! I look forward to reading your paper as well 🙂

  9. Hi Levinia! Very good insight of the topic.
    Personally I don’t think social media platforms are good pipeline to talk about mental health. Really it depends on the platform used. Instagram was ranked #1 as worst platform followed by Snapchat affecting mental health due the mainstream contents, body comparison and beauty standards. But YouTube was ranked #1 as positive to it. Your arguments are justified with good background research, as you mentioned if the platforms are rightly use, it can definitely standing out in promoting mental health awareness. Good job!

    Please find my paper here and share your point of view as well:

    1. Thank you so much for checking out my paper, Ruby!

      I agree that social media does have negative effects to mental health as well, and I covered some of that in my paper. You mentioned that Instagram is dangerous to an individual’s mental health due to mainstream beauty standards and such. Understandably so, as we often see images of people that we deem are doing better than us. Similarly I explored that, if people have faced poorly against mental illness, seeing others overcome it easily may cause feelings of despair to increase in individuals (Gupta & Ariefdjohan, 2020). However, because Instagram has a huge influence on people, it can be used as a tool to convince them to seek the help they need. I talked about a study by Gupta and Ariefdjohan regarding trends of antidepressant use. This study proves that Instagram can provide useful insight into the perceptions and attitudes towards the use of antidepressants. Antidepressant use had increased by about 65% between 1999 and 2014 due to people suffering from depression advocating for its use (Gupta & Ariefdjohan , 2020). Thus online advocacy on Instagram can be used to encourage people with mental issues to seek the care they need.

      I am very interested to see more of your perspective on this, so I will surely check out your paper that explores the other side of this issue. I am especially interested in your research on how Snapchat effects mental health, as I was not able to cover that in my paper. Thank you again!

  10. Hi Levinia,

    This is a really insightful paper and a topic which I have thought about often, It is important to seek out and highlight the benefits of these tools. There are some similarities between your article and mine, including some similar references. My article is about the positive impacts of social media on social movements, even though there are often negative connotations between the two, see it here if you would like to read:

    I think the fact that you touched on how there is no black and white way of viewing it is really important, it is a multidimensional and complex relationship that is hard to define. Social media is a useful resource, do you think that education and health care institutions will begin to utilise social media as a tool in the near future?

    Looking forward to hearing back from you!

    1. Hey Megan, thank you for giving my paper a read!

      People often tend to focus on the negative aspects of social media on mental health, that they often completely miss the positives! If used well, these platforms can do so much good, as I’ve proven in my paper. I’m so glad that you agree.

      What a coincidence that we used some similar articles in our papers! I am very interested in reading about how social media can positively impact social movements. I cannot wait to see what aspects of the references you have chosen to include in your own paper and how our points may overlap.

      Based on my perspective and research, I think education and health care institutions will most certainly utilise social media as a tool in the future! It is almost essential that they must.

      For example, mental health professionals must become more aware of content trends related to mental illness and treatments, such as the use of antidepressants. This way, they can alter their communication strategies when treating patients, so they can be more effective. Mental health organizations will need to increase their social media presence so they can provide resources and correct misinformation surrounding mental health (Gupta & Ariefdjohan , 2020).

      1. Thanks for getting back to me Levina!
        I am looking forward to your insights on my paper so you can see the cross over in our references.

        Hope you are enjoying your weekend 🙂

  11. Hello Levinia,

    A very interesting article which I thoroughly enjoyed reading! I appreciate how you mentioned in some areas that some of the benefits could ultimately be negatives in regards to the bullying that could occur online etc.. In regards to people using social media to reach out and get help due to not having to deal with the negative connotations of face-to-face, many doctors and psychologists can often run their sessions online and even go as far as sending medication out discreetly to be delivered to your door avoiding the face-to-face negativity. Do you think with that being said that once the online GP space really takes off social media will become irrelevant to some of the benefits you have mentioned such as people reaching out for help?


    1. Hello Richard,

      So glad to hear that you enjoyed my article! Glad you picked up on how I also highlighted the negatives aspects of social media to mental health. It is important to realise that there is no completely black and white way of viewing this issue. The important aspect is how we utilise the tools provided by social media, which can be in a positive way.

      As for your question, I do not think that social media will become irrelevant to the benefits I have explored in my paper. Not everyone can afford the services provided by professional medical care online, and some might even feel reluctant to reach out due to their own internalised stigmas against mental health care. That is why these social spaces online play such an important role. People who cannot afford those services are able to get advice and information from other people experiencing similar mental health issues. Those who are reluctant may be encouraged to seek help by their online peers. Furthermore, some people just want to look for spaces of support and love online because they lack these support systems among their family and friends.

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