Why Instagram Is the Platform to Talk About Mental Health in 2018

Instagram is not only a place for pointless selfies anymore. In 2017 Instagram took significant steps toward becoming a tool for self-expression, mainly focusing on mental health. Now more than ever it is becoming a platform for mental health advocates, and users who are advocating for change. This type of movement lessens the control of the gatekeepers of information such as the news media. How does this help the mental health community? It reduces stigma in a groundbreaking way. It gives the everyday person an opportunity to share their side of the story with a broad and diverse audience. Instagram is the platform to talk about mental health in 2018, and in this post, I explain the reason why.

#HereForYou Campaign

In May 2017, Mental Health Awareness Month, Instagram showed their commitment to spreading awareness with the #HereForYou Campaign. It’s objective was to bring awareness to mental health, portraying users of Instagram who are sharing their story and making an impact. Chief Operating Officer Marne Levine told Abc News, “People come to Instagram to tell their stories in a visual, and through an image, they’re able to communicate how they’re feeling, what they’re doing. So what we decided to do is to create a video campaign highlighting these communities of support that exist on Instagram.”

As an advocate who is very active on Instagram, I was taken back by the initiative, and I will explain the reason for this reaction. I was diagnosed when I was 20 years old with bipolar 2 disorder and started advocating for mental health four years later. The last four years, I have spent time traveling on my own dime, reaching out to brands and businesses, speaking at events where only three people sat and listened to my thoughts about mental health. Thankfully, HealthyPlace.com was the first to reach out to me, giving me the opportunity to share my story on their YouTube Channel. However, again they are a mental health website, whose main objective is talking about mental health. To be honest, I felt like people, outside of advocates and online platforms like Healthyplace, didn’t give a sh*t about mental health! Then in 2017, a year after I came forward with my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder on mediated platforms, everything seemed to change. When Instagram started this campaign, I saw that other major companies were finally taking action.

Mental Health Advocates on Instagram

Advocates, like myself, are sharing the truth about our lives with a mental health condition and persuading the public to take a different outlook on mental health. Not only is it where advocates are building a career, but a place where everyday users feel comfortable sharing their own experience. Not feeling as though they are alone on this journey. It is a diverse range of advocates which makes Instagram all the more appealing to users. It gives everyone a voice and a safe place to share it. Can you believe it? Social Media? A Safe Place? For the most part, it is a safe place, and the person who takes the hit with stigma usually is the person with the account. In 2017, Instagram showed their loyalty to the mental health community. It has taken steps to ensure the content being shared is meaningful and with a genuine objective. In 2018, influencers will continue to grow, using Instagram as a tool to spread awareness and advocate for change in society. Personally, I have some major projects as well that I will be revealing on my Instagram. Please follow if you have not done so yet, and say hello!

 

 

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It’s Time We #SlayStigma And Talk About Mental Health in a Bold Way

Sunday’s are for Slaying Stigma, as I announced tonight on my Instagram @halfway2hannah. I am redecorating my account and confronting mental health in a bold way. I have been working on this renovation for the last couple months, coming up with ideas to talk about stigma and mental health in unique and vibrant way. I will be sharing personal stories from my journey living with bipolar 2 disorder on images captured by the beautiful photographer Jillian Clark. Sharing mental health awareness, inspirational quotes and bad ass statements!

One of the major reasons I am doing this is to get people to speak up about mental health and the issues facing society by sharing their thoughts and/or experience in the comment section. Mental health pertains to all of us, with or without a condition, so join me by following my Instagram (@halfway2hannah). I look forward to getting to know you!

 

 

A Personal Success Story from My Life with Bipolar. Whats Yours?

On my new HealthyPlace YouTube video, I am celebrating my 28th birthday by sharing a personal success story.  On Monday, September 11th, I took another step into my late twenties with a grateful heart, unfiltered attitude, and colorful hair! Although many people complain about getting older, I embrace aging to the fullest and how could I not? On September 11th, 2001 so many innocent individuals lost their lives. It is a constant reminder of how fortunate I am to be alive.

In case you forgot to buy me a gift don’t worry because it’s not too late. One major goal of this video is to encourage you to share a success story from your life living with a mental health condition. C’mon tell me something that you are proud of! Share your story in the comment section of my YouTube video or do a response video and send it into info@healthyplace.com!

 

Hypersexuality and Bipolar Disorder

Let’s talk about sex and bipolar! In my experience as a single young adult, with or without a mental health condition, sex can complicate any friendship or relationship. When you have bipolar disorder, there are a couple more complications you face due to your emotional extremes. I have the ability to feel everything, however, also the capacity to be completely disconnected. This is heavily present when I am in a manic episode and engaging in sexual relations. In my new HealthyPlace video, I talk more in detail about my experience with hypersexuality living with bipolar 2 disorder.

Share your comments or do a response video and send it into info@healthyplace.com!

Teen Vogue Interview 2017: Bipolar Disorder Dating Tips

Dating is hard with or without a mental health condition. We have this overwhelming pressure to have the perfect body, perfect job, perfect social life and perfect mind. So you can imagine what it’s like when you have a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder. The stigma of mental illness sends a negative message to people. We are crazy! She’s a cheater! She’s unstable! So what is it like when you are actively dating with bipolar disorder? Lucky enough Teen Vogue contemplated the same question and reached out to me. I am so excited to share my interview with Teen Vogue. Check it out and please share.

Teen Vogue May 2017: Bipolar Disorder Dating Tips

Keeping It Candid On “I’m​ Bipolar Too” Blog

I started my journey with HealthyPlace.com almost a year ago. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my experience and talk about mental health in an authentic and open way. The adventure continues on my HealthyPlace blog, “I’m Bipolar Too.” There will be new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. I am getting personal, sharing advice and keeping it candid about mental health. Share your thoughts and experience in the comment section of posts or do a response video and send it into info@healthyplace.com.

Also, don’t forget to keep up with my HealthyPlace YouTube channel! New videos every Monday morning. Again, please share your experience or do a video for us. You have a story, a voice, and it deserves to be heard. Please subscribe if you have not had a chance!

 

 

 

 

Bipolar Disorder and Friendships

When I was diagnosed with bipolar II, I had to come back to the place I had run from, my home. In this video, my best friend Courtney opens up to me about her experience having a best friend with bipolar. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

6 Things Women Need To Stop Doing To Other Women

She is such a slut!  Ew, she is huge!  Did you see what she was wearing?  Why is he dating her?

The goal is to build a ‘sisterhood’ between women, however, there is still much work to be done.  We are harder on each other than we are on those keeping us below the glass ceiling.  Several women shared with me a situation, in which they felt abused or embraced by their fellow female comrade.  It is evident that a readjustment of our attitudes towards one another is necessary.

These are 6 things women need to stop doing to other women.  

1.  Stop blaming her for his infidelity.

This is common.  The boyfriend cheats, we blame the woman for our relationship problems.  She is not your problem, he is.  In many situations the “other woman” does not even know he has a girlfriend, and if she does, karma will be a bigger bitch than you could ever be!

I gave another woman hell about sleeping with my boyfriend.  She didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.  I married him, and we had two children.  He cheated on me with three different women throughout our marriage.  We got divorced two years ago.-Melissa, 42

2.  Don’t diminish each other’s life choices.

Whether you are a “work-aholic” or a “mom-aholic.” We need to empower each other’s life choices.  We are all making progressive steps as mothers, and boss ladies.  Clap for her, not at her.

I chose to have a career over having children.  It was my decision.  My sister has two daughters. My sister and I love to jump in each other’s shoes once in a while.  We respect one another.-Erin, 38

3.  Stop calling her a Slut.

We are justifying this type of name calling when we say it about other women.  If your girlfriend is living a lifestyle you think is dangerous than confront her about it, don’t call her degrading names for her sexual decisions.

I have had my fair share of sexual partners, but always use protection.  I enjoy sex, and I am not ashamed to say so.  I have been called a “slut” more by women, than I have been by men.-Johanna, 27

4.  Stop body shaming.

It’s bad enough we have to hear it from guys.  Women have the power to change this, but for some reason we brutally scrutinize other women’s bodies.  Body shaming other females is more mentally damaging than you think.

I went to join a sorority my Freshman year at the University I attended.  We had to do the cliche “rush.” One night the sorority sisters lined us up in our bathing suits, and used a marker to circle the areas of our body they found unflattering.  I went home to see myself in the mirror covered in marker with words like PIG! FAT! UGLY!  I dropped out a week later.-Alison, 24

5.  Start embracing, and stop competing.

Being a woman is not a sport, and girlfriends are not suppose to be enemies.  We are all different, and bring something different to the table.  If you feel insecure around other women, look inside yourself to find the root of the problem.

My best friend is a supermodel, but she has always empowered me.  We go shopping, and she dresses me up when we go out.  We did not compete, we built each other up.  She is a major part of the reason why I am so confident today. Kara, 25

6.  Her style may not be your style accept it.

She is not “white trash” because she has tattoos, and she is not a “snot” because she wears Lilly Pulitzer.  Instead of calling her blue hair “weird,” call it “eccentric.”  Let’s embrace our differences, and respect each others style.

I came from a Conservative home, and my best friend was a wild child from Boston.  Her style was totally different, she had tattoos, talked about sex and everything in-between.  At first I bashed her.  Then one night, we drank wine, and I opened up to her about everything.  She was my Maid of Honor at my wedding.-Catherine, 28