Can you trust the mental health content you see on social media?

It’s true that social media has the potential to be a powerful tool for promoting mental health awareness and support but there is still a need for ongoing conversation, advocacy, and collaboration to promote ethical standards, combat misinformation, and ensure that individuals have access to accurate, supportive, and trustworthy information about mental health online.

There are dangerous but easily accessible mental health content online that can negatively impact individuals’ well-being. Exposure to this can lead to harmful effects, such as increasing feelings of shame, isolation, and self-doubt.

Today, I want to focus on how you can vet mental health content that you come across social media or online.

What is Ethical Mental Health Content?

Ethical mental health content refers to online material, such as articles, videos, posts, or podcasts, that adhere to ethical principles and guidelines while addressing mental health topics. This type of content is created with the intention of promoting mental wellness, providing accurate information, reducing stigma, and offering support to individuals navigating mental health challenges.

Mental health content can be deemed ethical when it adheres to principles of accuracy, transparency, respect, and integrity.

How do I Vet Mental Health Content I Come Across?

Vetting mental health content can be tricky for many people. With so much information online, it’s hard to know what’s trustworthy, especially if you’re not an expert. Social media can be particularly confusing because there aren’t always clear rules, and content that looks good might not be accurate.

To help you, use this checklist of questions to ask when you see mental health content online. These questions help you check if the information is reliable and if the creator knows what they’re talking about. And if you’re ever unsure, it’s always a good idea to talk to a mental health professional for guidance.

Don’t be afraid to ask these questions. They encourages content creators to uphold ethical standards and transparency, contributing to a safer and more supportive online environment for discussions about mental health.

A Final Reminder: Not All Ethical Mental Health Content Are Safe

While ethical mental health content is generally more trustworthy and reliable, it’s important to recognize that not all content labeled as ethical may be completely safe for everyone. Safety can depend on various factors, including the individual’s own vulnerabilities, triggers, and specific needs. 

While ethical content creators strive to promote positivity, empowerment, and well-being, there is still a possibility that certain topics or discussions within ethical content could be triggering or upsetting for some individuals. Therefore, while ethical mental health content provides a more reliable foundation, individuals should still exercise caution and prioritize their own well-being when engaging with any online content. If something feels distressing or uncomfortable, it’s okay to disengage and seek support from trusted sources or mental health professionals.

Make More Informed Decisions

Make more informed decisions about which content to trust and engage with, ultimately promoting your mental well-being and avoiding potential harm from misinformation or unethical practices.

Feeling overwhelmed or distressed by something you’ve seen online? Whether it’s a troubling post or just a difficult day, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation. Contact me, my inbox is always open, and I’m here to listen.

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