Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 July 2019

Instagram campaign aims to get people talking during Mental Health Awareness Month

The #RealConvo campaign wants to highlight how social media communities can help tackle stigma

Actress and model Jari Jones, dancer Donte Colley and 'Pretty Little Liars' star Sasha Pieterse-Sheaffer are all taking part in the #RealConvo campaign. Instagram / AFSP
Actress and model Jari Jones, dancer Donte Colley and 'Pretty Little Liars' star Sasha Pieterse-Sheaffer are all taking part in the #RealConvo campaign. Instagram / AFSP

Social media is great for many things; it helps us connect with friends, follow our favourite celebrities, find memes. But when it comes to our mental health, it’s not always so positive.

Social media can have an adverse effect on how we feel about ourselves, cause anxiety and, in the more extreme cases, see people become victims of online bullying. But this May, Instagram has teamed up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to get people talking about their mental health.

The #RealConvo campaign will run throughout May to coincide with World Mental Health Awareness Month, and is encouraging people to be more open about how they are feeling, as well as highlighting how social media and the communities it creates can have a positive impact on mental health.

To kickstart the campaign, nine stars including Pretty Little Liars actor Sasha Pieterse-Sheaffer and actress, model and activist Jari Jones have shared their stories online.

“The more we talk about things, the less it will feel taboo,” says Pieterse-Sheaffer , a self-proclaimed perfectionist.

The star shared a letter she wrote to her younger self tackling issues she felt around insecurities, her changing body, and encouraging her to lean on people around her for support.

"Whenever I go to compare myself to a perfect photo, a perfect person, a perfect vacation, a perfect job, I remind myself that there's always a downside to this amazing upside," she says.

The campaign has already seen people sharing their own experiences on Instagram, which you can find by searching the #RealConvo.

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Updated: May 7, 2019 11:56 AM

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