Mental Health Month

'Here For You' Instagram Campaign Highlights A Community In Support Of Mental Health

"Take this moment to let someone know we are #HereForYou."

May is Mental Health Month.Throughout the month we will bring you stories about mental health and the importance of breaking surrounding stigmas, as well as highlighting those who live with related conditions and are advocating awareness.

Instagram is a social platform enabling people from all walks of life to connect through picture-sharing and discussion.  But sometimes a simple hashtag can be the most powerful tool to bring a community together and get a message across. 

For Mental Health Month, a new Instagram campaign using the hashtag "HereForYou" has launched to create  a safe and inclusive space for people to share their journeys toward positive mental health.

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The campaign is explained on the social platform: "Every day, people use Instagram to share their mental health journeys and connect with communities of support. We are inspired by these voices. #HereForYou"

This campaign is spotlighting other tags and communities meant for people struggling with mental health and, in doing so, is helping them gain momentum. 

The campaign also features people coping with different mental health issues, including depression and eating disorders, using the hashtag to show they are there for others who are struggling with similar things.

For example, Instagram recently profiled Elyse Fox, the 27-year-old behind the @sadgirlsclubpbg account. 

"The Sad Girls Club (@sadgirlsclubpbg) started with me documenting my worst year of depression, and I created a film out of what I was going through," says 27-year-old Elyse Fox (@elyse.fox). 'My family never knew what was happening with me. I always seemed happy and in a positive mood, so this was my way of telling the world, and the people close to me, 'This is what's really going on in my head. This is what's been going on with me.' As soon as I released it, 50 girls flooded my inbox saying, 'I see myself in this story. I can totally relate to this. Can you give me any advice?' Immediately, I saw a need. There were girls out there, a lot younger than me and as confused as I was at their age, that needed a sense of community, a mentor or just someone to vent to. I wish people understood that depression is an actual sickness. It's something that needs to be studied and treated as such. And treated with kindness and with love. #hereforyou" 

Fox added in a video for the campaign. "Through Instagram, I was able to connect to those who had similar things," she said. "My main thing is to bring girls together and let them know that they're not alone."

Sacha Cuddy, an 18-year-old who has struggled with her mental health says, "I want to be an advocate for mental health and inspire people across the world."

Actress Troian Bellisario is also speaking out about her struggles with eating disorders as part of Instagram's #HereForYou campaign. 

"I want to thank @instagram for continually creating a safe space for people to have conversations about mental health. I have seen & heard many brave people speak out about their own ever changing relationship to their mental illness; the ups & the downs, the triumphs & the pain. IG is a visual platform BUT many have used this space for more than just posting images. They have found communities and friends who support them, and places where they can speak openly and honestly about their lives. May is Mental Health Awareness month in America and @instagram asked me to join them on @goodmorningamerica with @robinrobertsgma & @marnelevine to talk about the new ways in which they are supporting these conversations and communities and how I chose to speak about my own experience with my upcoming film #FeedtheMovie . No one should suffer in silence. There is no shame in asking for help. Take this moment to let someone know we are #hereforyou"

Instagram's 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 in Instagram."

As of May 8, the #HereForYou hashtag had over 58,000 posts which are helping to increase awareness about mental health and break the stigmas surrounding it.

If people are struggling with mental health issues, they will hopefully see these communities and know they're not alone. Furthermore, they will hopefully feel empowered to seek help, if needed. 

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health issues, there are a number of resources available to provide support. Check them out here.

(H/T: Teen Vogue)

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