This is the question a group of students at the University of Exeter are asking in the introduction to their campaign video. It is an issue which follows on quite well from our previous article at Razz, which was all about the stigma that is attached to mental health issues. In case you want to refresh your memory, this is a link to it:(https://razzmag.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/discussing-the-stigmas-around-mental-health-in-society/) . Their campaign was created as a part of the University’s Grand Challenges Week, an interdisciplinary academic initiative which looks at how we might solve some of the biggest challenges posed to us and future generations in the 21st century. The team formed part of the challenge “No Health Without Mental Health?” which questioned the common assumption that physical health and mental health are mutually exclusive. Within this Challenge was the media team, divided into two teams: Behind the Label, which unsettles labels of those with mental illnesses in order to break up the stigma surrounding these conditions, and Open Up.
Open Up encourages a more individual response to the campaign; it is up to the individual to choose how they want to promote opening up about mental health, whether this is about admitting their own mental health struggles, or learning how they can better support those around them, it is all about what can be done to encourage people to talk about it more. It might be that in order to open up someone might tell their best friend via Facebook messenger, talk to family or friends face to face, or even express their emotions through art and music. The Campaign’s main aims are to promote the use of social media in a positive and realistic way in order to dispel social media’s myth of perfection and an idealistic world and to encourage people to open up about mental health, whether this is via social media or not.
This is their campaign video:
Their campaign carries such an important message, and one which can be applied by everyone in whichever ways they choose. Opening up is not always a consultation with a psychiatrist or telling the whole family about your struggles over your Christmas dinner, it is whatever you want it to be. It is something for everyone to be proactive with, in order to improve mental health and create a more open world of social media.
If you would like to learn any more about their campaign or want to share their video here are the links to their Facebook and Twitter pages: