mental health hopes

i just came back from an invigorating time with raul raul and cathy, talking about MentalHealthCamp. poor cathy had to listen to me being stubborn about not “massaging” the message about MentalHealthCamp too much – i like the raw greassroots approach.

what’s funny is that on my way back on the bus i read made to stick – a (very good) book about, guess what, making ideas stick. (it harkens back to gladwell’s stickiness concept in his book the tipping point).

because i’d definitely like the idea of MentalHealthCamp to stick.

but what is this idea?

let me think out loud – and please, chime in, tell me what your hopes and ideas about MentalHealthCamp are.

MentalHealthCamp, of course, is our vancouver conference about mental health and social media. the quick tag line we came up with was:

erasing stigma and exploring possibilities with social media.

is that sticky? does it get you excited?

as cathy pointed out, maybe we could focus on our hopes for MentalHealthCamp? what’s the best thing that could happen at the conclusion of MentalHealthCamp? maybe …

  • people with mental health challenges who haven’t explored the tool of writing and blogging yet will be excited to try and use it, and it will help them
    • organize their thoughts
    • shed light on their inner life
    • connect with others who share similar experiences
  • mainstream media will see living proof that people with mental health issues are “normal” – they wear jeans, drink latte and watch TV just like anyone else
  • participants’ tongues will be loosened to talk about mental health with the same ease they talk about runny noses, strange bosses and heart-stopping hockey games
  • at the same time, we’ll realize that while stigma is not totally erased yet – and we’ll point out effective, honest and comfortable ways to protect vulnerabilities
  • bloggers who write about mental health will network and get support – and perhaps even make a new friend or two
  • this will be the start of a strong movement all over the world of social media to erase the stigma of mental health and explore new ways of turning mental illness to mental health

what dreams and hopes would YOU add?  and how would all these ideas be sticky for YOU?


  1. As Alexander implies, it doesn’t mention mental health.

    You could try something like, “The place where . . .” depending on what people do there. Perhaps, “. . . it’s OK to be crazy” or “. . . we bust a taboo or two”, or “. . . the paranoid aren’t after us.” or “we squash any remaining stigma about mental health”.

    Stray thoughts, hope they help.

    Evan’s last blog post..Handling Criticism

  2. I’m pretty out of the loop about what’s been going on, but the goals which would appeal to me would be both to help those with mental health challenges to learn to use social media in a truly healing, therapeutic and community promoting way. And to create awareness both in those we deal with on the street and in the doctor’s or therapist’s office. I’m thinking that social media might be able to help bridge the gap of things one doesn’t learn in school.

    You know my story and you know how dangerous relying on my own social work education was when my world came crashing in. How many people don’t understand mental health? It’s not just family members and strangers who struggle with it.

    I guess what I’m saying is that education and management/support/healing are the two areas I would find most helpful if I were able to be there. I hope this helps some!

    Nickie’s last blog post..Tai Chi and Me: Part 1

  3. Hi Isabella,

    I am excited about what you are doing with the “unconference”. This is the beginning of a critical discussion on how we can make the social network world work for those suffering mental illness as well as those who may just need a leg up during difficult times.

    I am hoping to arrange my schedule around so I can attend but it remains to be seen. Regardless, I look forward to following the progress and participating in the debate as best I can.

    There is a long way to go but with the effort you and others are giving this, I know it will make a difference.


    Roger’s last blog post..Dreams

  4. You need language that gives people woh need help confidence in you and that they really will receive the help they need from you if they discuss their problems. Trust is key, so carefully wording is paramount.

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