Mental illness has been brutally stigmatized within society. Because of this, many people live without fully acknowledging their mental health concerns. However, there have been greater efforts put into education on mental health concerns via the internet. Although the internet has its flaws, this is overall a good change for the future of mental health education.
There is an increased awareness being put on mental health, and it shows through a spectrum of forms on the internet, from scholarly articles to awareness posts on social media. There are even mental health professionals who try to reach younger audiences through social media posts as well.
This information spread online reaches not only academic audiences, but also the general public.
“Because of the availability of online resource efforts in our society to increase awareness about mental health, that I actually think people are more aware and more informed of mental illness and mental health concerns,” said Tim Paquette, director of Counseling and Consultation Services.
Using the internet as a resource can even help others when they are struggling with their own mental health. It can provide reliable information that allows for self-education and self-reflection.
With more creators being open about mental health and mental illness, it can even provide a community to people who feel alone in their mental health journey.
“There’s been a really big push for education and advocacy for folks, specifically with those things like mental illness,” said Rhiannon Luft, access consultant for the Disability Resource Center.
The internet is an amazing tool. However, are there resources regarding mental health concerns that are not credible or reliable? Absolutely. Therefore, it’s important to recognize differing information and to be thorough with searches.
Regardless, always remember to be safe on the internet. Please use the internet as a resource and not as a substitute for a trained professional.
Unfortunately, not everyone may have access to adequate healthcare, and in these situations, the internet could be a helpful tool to look for methods of obtaining healthcare and improving mental health.
The internet can be a daunting place to find information. However, it’s not about the internet being a toxic place for mental health; it’s about where you look to educate yourself on mental health concerns.
Along with the internet, students can benefit from mental health services provided by the Counseling and Consultation Services and the Disability Resource Center.