Shalem’s Facebook and Twitter pages have been active for a couple years now, with a healthy number of followers and supporters. Our goal in having a social media presence has always been about increasing awareness and fostering conversations about mental wellness and emotional health. Our intent is to provide informative, interesting, and worthwhile content that engages the reader on a variety of levels.
We post original content written by our Shalem staff which includes the Shalem Blog, Shalem Digest articles, and Restorative Justice (RJ) blasts. Often our writing is a combination of humour and reflection, offering challenges and questions. We get most excited when readers comment and post responses offering encouragement in the work we do or challenging us to continue to strive for excellence in the care we offer our clients.
While we enjoy offering original Shalem contributions in the blog and digest, the majority of our social media content on Facebook and Twitter comes from the broader internet world, sharing from others in our communities, both near and far. Some material comes from agencies we have a relationship with; others come from media sources that are well known and popular online. The search for valuable content is continuous, and laborious at times. The internet is vast, containing the good, bad, and that preferably left unread!
Mental health topics we try to address in our social media presence include issues such as depression, anxiety, stigma, grief, addiction, trauma, and many others. Our posts aim to be culturally relevant and timely, often in conjunction with world events and activities. With the recent Olympics, some of our posts had to do with sports, athletes, and the challenges that can be experienced in an athlete’s lifestyle.
With the Bell Let’s Talk Day, our posts reflected much of what other major organizations were sharing about ending stigma in mental illness. When the bombing occurred in Orlando, Florida, our posts reflected the importance of supporting one another through trauma and despair. Following the fires in Fort McMurray, our posts dealt with themes of hope in hard times, and the importance of accessing mental health supports in the wake of difficult circumstances.
In essence, we strive to encourage our community to not only become more aware of the struggles others endure, but also be proactive and foster their own mental wellness and emotional health in aspects of life experienced close to home.
Shalem will continue to maintain and even grow our social media presence, recognizing the importance of our role in the ever-changing electronic world! We encourage you to check out our Facebook content and Twitter posts; if you enjoy what you see, mark us as a ‘Favourite’ and you will see all our posts! If you ‘Like’ us on Facebook, you’ll be able to ‘Share’ content with your Facebook friends and help us reach more people, extending the reach of Shalem and increasing the impact we can have. When you re-tweet our Twitter posts or ‘like’ our tweets, you’ll be increasing Shalem’s visibility and helping contribute towards building our online community. We would surely appreciate it!
Michelle DeBoer is an art therapist and Shalem’s Social Media Coordinator.