She’s not sorry: Demi Lovato, Mental health champion

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Image courtesy of News Flash.

Since going public regarding her own struggles with addiction, disordered eating and bipolar disorder, Demi Lovato has been a vocal, persistent advocate for mental wellness.

She is continually encouraging her fans, and beyond, to speak openly and honestly about their own experiences in an attempt to minimize the stigmatization and trivialization that still cloud perceptions of mental illness.

Lovato is known for giving candid interviews, affirming that even though she is advocating for mental health reform, she doesn’t feel particularly inspirational, because she still struggles with her own wellness. This sincerity is likely why so many of her fans identify so strongly with her.

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Lovato with CAST founder and CEO, Mike Bayer.  Image courtesy of CAST.

Most recently, Lovato announced her partnership with the CAST foundation, affording her the opportunity to offer free mental health sessions  at each of her upcoming tour dates. An impressive initiative from an impressive woman.

 

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What’s going on, as told by Bradley PR writers

This semester, my PR writing students are analyzing and responding to a different current event issue from the PR industry during each Friday class. (Friday mornings are definitely made for blogging. Sometimes even faculty puppies visit.)

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This Is Us viewers take on the kitchen appliance.

In our first week, these budding PR all-stars discussed the NY Mets offering a dedicated fan an epic prom picture backdrop. Check out Kenzie’s synopsis of the scenario and how it exemplifies good PR practices.

Last week, we pulled out the Kleenex boxes and worked through Jack Pearson’s death on This Is Us; more specifically, the crisis communication outreach Crockpot engaged in after their product was the source of a catastrophic house fire. Bryce shares his thoughts about this pressure-cooked event and whether the show’s creators have a responsibility to promote fire safety standards.

And today, we couldn’t let the opportunity to talk about “Lady Doritos” pass us by. As a class we deduced that both men and women alike enjoy crunching, can reasonably maneuver with the same-shaped snack bag, and will probably shake the crumbs at the bottom straight into their faces. Turn to Catherine’s blog to see how she assessed the issue statement from Doritos, as well as the suggestions offered for how the company could better promote gender equality.

 

Enough with those misaligned pencils, though

Facebook algorithms generate targeted ads and suggested groups that can feel like a personal attack. One day after your wedding and Facebook is plastering Huggies Little Snugglers diaper ads across one third of your newsfeed. Or, maybe you’re newly single and suddenly Facebook thinks you might want to join the “Cooking for One” culinary group. Presumptuous. Invasive. Off-putting.

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An “OCD quiz” that recently graced my Facebook newsfeed with its presence.

I, however, am most peeved at the (seemingly targeted) quizzes that continually appear, beckoning me to check out how “OCD” I am. First of all, I already have the answer to that question, and, more importantly, no amount of disorganized pencils or irregularly patterned bathroom tiles will ever properly represent a mental illness diagnosis. While kitschy and perhaps a sufficient 5 minute paper-writing break, quizzes such as these are damaging to the mainstream understanding of mental illness. For instance, Facebook users who engage with this quiz, and also lack personal experience with mental illness, may believe that OCD is solely defined by frivolous, detail-oriented behaviors.

While social media can often serve as breeding ground for misinformation about various mental health issues, there are countless sources working tirelessly to educate and provide support. Here are a few of my favorites:

Mental health amongst 2018 media

pexels-photo-122383.jpegThe importance of thoughtful, informed discussion regarding mental health remains heightened as we enter into a new year. A recent article shares a promising take on communicating about and representing positive discussions of mental wellness:

A new series on BBC Future, #LikeMinded, aims to tackle a relevant debate regarding the impact of social media use on our mental health.

Facebook recently shared a blog post addressing this issue, suggesting that while social media isn’t inherently negative or damaging to our mental wellbeing, it certainly can be if used improperly.

The objective behind #LikeMinded is to offer a review of current research on the relationship between social media use and mental health. Some of the topics that are said to be addressed in this series are social media addiction, ties between social media use and self-esteem, and insight into mental health based on the content of social media posts.

Looking forward to following along with the #LikeMinded findings.

Read more about the new series from BBC Future here: #LikeMinded