Shrinks and social media – my thoughts

Greetings all,

Here is my latest blogpost from How Shrinks Think, inspired by the excitement of @SoMebythesea and watching the registrations flowing in, I thought it timely to look at my own profession and what they could do better with regards social media.

There are countless mental health awareness campaigns around, which is wonderful, but all driven by large NGO’s and marketing companies. What is the perspective of a psychiatrist when it comes to these campaigns? By not engaging with the social media awareness campaigns we are purporting to be indifferent or non interested. I for one, am not happy with the lastest ABC campaign #mentalAs which coincides with Mental Health Week in October 2014. Sure it raises awareness about mental ilness, sure it uses a lot of celebrities to encourage others not to be embarrased to have a mental llness, but to call people ‘mental?’ Does this enhance or reduce stigma?

And what about psychiatrists speaking out about the giant elephant in the room – it’s all fine and dandy to ‘raise awareness’ but the public mental health system has been decimated when it comes to funding, resources and beds, particulalrly in Victoria, where I work. So where do these ‘mental’ people go?

Come on my profession, join the debate, speak up. It’s not enough to raise awareness when we can barely treat what we have right now. We can lobby for more funding than purely accept our lot.

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