The Mental Health Coalition (MHC), founded by designer and social activist Kenneth Cole and launched in May of 2020, announces an innovative collaboration with FACEBOOK. Together with MHC’s 27 coalition members, they are introducing a series of creative experiences designed to engage people on FACEBOOK and Instagram in conversations around emotional wellness.
Social media has been a main form of social connection for many in the wake of COVID-19. Physical isolation has made it difficult, and often impossible, for face-to-face interaction; social platforms such as FACEBOOK and Instagram provide communities and resources that individuals need most during these challenging times. That’s why FACEBOOK and MHC have joined forces to provide expanded access to mental health support resources for all communities.
This first of its kind movement aims to destigmatize mental health, providing a simplified platform for people to understand, express and find the support they need to maintain long-term mental wellness. The MHC initiative will initially feature four main components, including: “121” IGTV Series, a chat series featuring advocates talking to their “1” about how they get through challenging times; “Reality Check Filters,” which allow you to visually express how you’re really feeling; “Mood Meter” Instagram account from Dr. Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, which helps you express and manage your emotions; and “Fine Tune Your Feed,” an Instagram campaign which teaches people how to control and customize their online experience.
“Emotions matter. Having the language to describe our emotions and learning helpful strategies to regulate them can enhance our health and well-being. I’m excited to share the Instagram version of the Mood Meter to support more people in developing their emotional intelligence.” Marc Brackett, Ph.D., author of Permission To Feel.
MHC, with support from FACEBOOK, created this series of tools to help educate and empower young people and generations to come to speak openly and authentically about their feelings and get the support they need. When teens and young adults have access to greater social connectivity and support, it was shown that they were less likely to experience mental health problems, “while those with low quality social support had six times the risk of developing depression (Hefner & Eisenberg, 2009).”
As part of FACEBOOK’s long-term investment to support people’s mental health, they have launched Emotional Health, a global centralized mental health resource center, providing locally relevant mental health resources and information based on input from mental health expert partners. The MHC campaign efforts will direct people to FACEBOOK’s Emotional Health resource center, which features all of MHC’s expert partners and access to their resources. MHC has also published Instagram Guides to help young people talk about mental health and look after themselves during COVID.
“Young people are turning to Instagram and FACEBOOK to find and offer support through tough times, which is why this collaboration with MHC and its partners is so important,” says Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram. “More broadly, we hope these new programs will help to destigmatize conversations around mental health.”
MHC’s mission is to catalyze like-minded communities to work together to destigmatize mental health and empower access to vital resources and necessary support for all.
“During these challenging and unprecedented times, it is important that we come together around the common goal of changing the mental health narrative in a way that will empower individuals living with mental health conditions,” explains Founder and Chairman of The Mental Health Coalition, Kenneth Cole. “It is our goal to build an unprecedented community of support and cohesion, during a time of immense chaos and unprecedented need.”
MHC and their Coalition of the leading mental health organization are supporting the initiative including:
• Active Minds
• American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
• Anxiety and Depression Association of America
• Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
• Bring Change to Mind
• Child Mind Institute
• Crisis Text Line
• Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
• Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
• Fountain House
• Headstrong Project
• Mental Health America
• Mindful Philanthropy
• National Alliance on Mental Illness
• National Council for Behavioral Health
• National Latino Behavioral Health Association
• One Mind
• Silence the Shame
• Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)
• The Jed Foundation
• The Steve Fund
• The Trevor Project
• Trans Lifeline
• UCLA Depression Grand Challenge
• Vibrant Emotional Health
• Well Being Trust
Key experts who advise MHC that are participating in the initiative include: Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, Ph.D, Founder, AAKOMA Project, Dr. Christine Moutier, MD, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Founding President and Medical Director of the Child Mind Institute, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, MD, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer Fountain House, Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, PsyD, Chief Strategy Officer for Well Being Trust, Dr. Marc Brackett, Ph.D., Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
The creative partners that helped collaborate on this effort include FACEBOOK’s Creative Shop, Pentagram, House of V and Hornet.