Monday, March 6, 2017

Annie Cammarano

Hi Annie;

This is a very worthy activist project, and I like the fact that it utilizes social media and hashtags, specifically.  You make your voice around this topic very clear in the proposal, and that is the point of doing activist media work.  I think your plan is clear and sound.  The only thing I would have you consider how the tweeting will develop over time.  For example, you might start with tweets offering scientific facts, etc.,  but eventually you might incorporate very short videos or testimonials -- the idea being that you're building on facts that become well known by adding faces and voices as, presumably, the stigma decreases.

I'm not saying you need to do that, but it's something to consider if you see this as a long-term project.


Hi Annie;  You have a lot of really good information in your literature review, but there appear to be far more citations in the references section in the back than there are in the body of the lit review itself.  For each reference in the back there should be a corresponding citation in the body of the paper.  You'll need to even it out for the final paper you turn in with your project at the end of the term (it need consist only of a short description of your project and the literature review).
Also, you don have to include the titles of the articles you're citing in the body of the lit review, only authors last name and year of publication.  I'll scan and email you the copy your gave me so you see my comments.


  1. Hi Professor!

    My end-game would be to include videos and testimonials eventually. There's an online publication, The Player's Tribune, that posts articles written by professional athletes; typically these pieces center around mental illness. I was thinking to maybe include pieces like that eventually.

  2. Potential references for final project:

    1. Social media as a space for support: Young adults' perspectives on producing and consuming user-generated content about diabetes and mental health (Fergie, Gillian, Hunt, Kate, Hilton, Shona)

    -- This qualitative study analyzed how individuals aged 18-30 dealt with diabetes or common mental health disorders on social media. The authors broke down respondents into three categories, "prosumers," tacit consumers," and non-engagers." Ultimately, the authors determined that social media users created content on the aforementioned categories based on their "real-life" experiences with support. This will be an interesting element in my project; since Twitter is a public platform, individual users may choose to engage/not engage with the project based on whether they feel supported enough to engage with others regarding their struggles in real life.

    2. Mental health awareness campaign exposes challenges in combatting stigma (Miller, Adam)

    -- Miller's article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal analyzes the effects of the 2013 "Bell Lets Talk" Day. Already four years outdated, the article stated that $4.8 million was raised for mental health initiatives that year; more recent "Bell Lets Talk" Days have surpassed this amount (the exact number will be included in the full Literature Review). The importance of initiatives such as this is discussed; removing the stigma around mental illnesses, and allowing open discussions about them, will eradicate the need for days such as "Bell Lets Talk," because discussing mental illnesses will no longer be taboo.

    3. Naturally Occurring Peer Support through Social Media: The Experiences of Individuals with Severe Mental Illness Using YouTube (Naslund, John A., Grande, Stuart W., Aschbrenner, Kelly A., Elwyn, Glyn)

    -- These authors used ethnography, specifically studying YouTube content, to determine how individuals with severe mental illnesses sought support on social media. Severe mental illness is defined as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder by the authors. By posting their experiences on YouTube, individuals are both receive peer support from others who have gone through similar issues, and give support to others battling the disorders. I'm aiming to create a similar experience through my still to-be-determined hashtag and Twitter handle. A major facet of ending the stigma around mental illnesses is creating spaces where they can be openly discussed.

    4. Using social media for support and feedback by mental health service users: thematic analysis of a twitter conversation (Shepard, Andrew, Sanders, Caroline, Doyle, Michael, Shaw, Jenny)

    -- This article directly relates to my project as both are based on the Twitter platform. The authors' project was centered around the hashtag #dearmentalhealthprofessionals, and generated 515 unique communications. The communications all fell into four categories: The impact of diagnosis on personal identity and as a facilitator for accessing care; Balance of power between professional and service user; Therapeutic relationship and developing professional communication; and Support provision through medication, crisis planning, service provision and the wider society. These findings are beneficial to my project because it showcases that Twitter is a viable platform for these discussions.

    5. Evaluation of a campaign to improve awareness and attitudes of young people towards mental health issues (Livingston, James D., Tugwell, Andrew, Korf-Uzan, Kimberly, Cianfrone, Michelle, Coniglio, Connie)

    -- This survey analyzed the effectiveness of the "In One Voice" campaign, which aimed at de-stigmatizing mental health disorders. The authors used surveys to complete their research, ultimately finding that the campaign increased literacy regarding mental health; this one again proves a viable way to remove the stigma around mental health disorders is to have more open discussion about them.

    1. These are great sources, Annie. You're in great shape for the literature review.

    2. These are great sources, Annie. You're in great shape for the literature review.


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