Grassroots Mental Health Groups’ Use of Advocacy Strategies in Social Media Messaging
Qualitative Health Research
advocacy, case study, mental health concerns, social media, stigma, United States
© The Author(s) 2020. Mental health concerns are a public health crisis. Stigma is the primary reason why individuals do not disclose or seek treatment. Stigma is constructed communicatively, and destigmatization efforts—such as advocacy messaging—are also communicative. I employ a case study approach to describe how two mental health groups use advocacy strategies in their social media messaging to help audience members mitigate mental health concerns and challenge stigma. I found content creators use a variety of advocacy strategies in their messaging, including awareness-raising, support of policy initiatives, and the promotion of diversity and inclusivity. Although not the primary goal of these groups’ messaging, advocacy strategies were important to content creators and audience members, and 80% of audience members interviewed engaged in advocacy work for the organizations. I provide a nuanced view of mental health communication advocacy strategies, make recommendations for health communication professionals, and demonstrate the need for future studies.
Smith-Frigerio, Sarah, "Grassroots Mental Health Groups’ Use of Advocacy Strategies in Social Media Messaging" (2020). Faculty Bibliography. 2649.