The blogging site Tumblr has launched a campaign tackling mental health issues and putting a positive spin on social media sharing. Entitled "Post It Forward," the Tumblr campaign aims to promote positive connection via messages of encouragement and by offering resources for those who are struggling. Two platforms for the campaign, PostItForward.Tumblr.com and #PostItForward, will "serve as hubs for community building, support, and healing for those in need," according to a news release sent to Bustle. Jeff D'Onofrio, the president of Tumblr, cited the community aspect of Tumblr and how that will serve the campaign's efforts to reach young people who might be suffering from mental and emotional health issues right where they normally congregate — online. D'Onofrio said in a statement:
We've seen how conversations on Tumblr grow into communities of support, and we want our users to have access to the kind of supportive environment that gets built through interpersonal connections. 'Post It Forward' will help foster those communities by showing people that they're not alone, and we hope that sharing experiences, resources, and words of encouragement will be one way that we can positively overcome these issues together.
The "Post It Forward" campaign will use the platforms to do a range of things greater than offering messages of encouragement and links to resources. The campaign also provides an outlet for people who have suffered from mental health issues to share their stories and also raise awareness of organizations that might have helped them along the way, according to the news release. People can share stories via video, artwork, text, or any other way they see fit. Plus, there will be a way to take a "GIF selfie" and post it on the site to show support for the community.
Various celebrities have already jumped on board to show their support for the campaign, as well as to raise awareness of their own nonprofits that are meant to help with the many issues that often contribute to issues of mental health. Jordin Sparks, Vice President Joe Biden, and Brittany Snow have all contributed to "Post It Forward" by posting videos about major issues that relate to the campaign, such as making a positive impact on others, sexual assault on college campuses, and bullying.
In an impassioned video, Sparks asks herself and fans how they're going to make a difference. "I just remember being surrounded by people that were always giving more of themselves," Sparks says before mentioning altruistic family members, including her parents and grandparents. She continues:
They were always involved in doing something for other people, and I just want to encourage you that it doesn't matter how old you are, it doesn't matter where you come from, it doesn't matter what your means are: whether it's big or small, you can do it. You can change the world."
Sparks' campaign of positivity goes hand in hand with M.A.D Girls Inc, a nonprofit dedicated to a bevy of international projects, including the "I'm M.A.D Are You?" campaign, which Sparks helped launch in 2009. Though not directly related to mental health, "I'm M.A.D Are You?" highlights the positivity and community building aspects of Tumblr's campaign.
Vice President Biden's "Post It Forward" video highlights sexual assault prevention through the White House's "It's On Us" campaign, which encourages college students to pledge to help end sexual assault. "It's On Us" includes resources for victims. "Sexual assault is simply unacceptable and survivors are supported," Biden says.
Brittany Snow's "Post It Forward" message echoes Williams' sentiments of positivity by way of the campaign she helped found, Love Is Louder, which addresses issues like bullying and low self-esteem. Says Snow:
One of the most important things I learned and the advice I give to people who feel different or are struggling is to simply tell yourself in your head, 'maybe that's not true.' So, when something would come in your head and is a bad thought and you think to yourself, 'oh you suck...' You think, 'maybe that's not true.'"
For those in need of a bit more than encouragement, Tumblr's "Post It Forward" page offers a resources tabwhich links to posts offering useful hotlines for those with struggling with suicidal thoughts and issues of domestic violence, among many other resources. Kudos to Tumblr for making a strong step in supporting those in need online.
Image: PostItForward (1)