15 Seconds 4 Change Campaign Highlights ‘This is Mental Health’

Submitted. Fraser Health’s Speak Up program has kicked off an eight-week social media campaign to mental health equates to mental illness. 15 Seconds 4 Change’s theme, “This is Mental Health,” invites youth to show how mental health is a vital part of everyone.

Launched February 3rd, 15 Seconds 4 Change invites youth to post images and videos that illustrate their everyday Thoughts, Feelings & Behaviours (TF&B) to Instagram and to encourage others to join the campaign. By including a hashtag that reflects their TF&B (#happy, #discouraged) and #15seconds4change, British Columbian youth will be automatically entered to win an iPad Air, iPad Mini or iPod Nano (see Speak Up @ mindcheck.ca/contests for eligibility and rules.)

Mental health is frequently in the news, but too often it’s associated with dramatic or negative situations. Typically, the focus is related to mental illness, the issues associated with it and the need to be more responsive and tolerant of people experiencing a mental illness.

Getting to know your thoughts, feelings and behaviours (TF&B).

The reality of mental health is far different. It’s part of who we are; it’s how the thoughts, feelings & behaviours (TF&B) we experience aff ect our daily lives. Worried about not doing well on a test? Feeling on top of the world these days and ready to take on new challenges? Going for a run to reduce stress? Those are your TF&B and that’s your mental health. “People easily point to mental health in others – especially those they think have a problem – but generally fail to recognize it as something that’s part of themselves,” said Jasper Moedt, Youth Peer Coordinator for Speak Up, a youth mental health initiative of Fraser Health, funded by Coast Capital Savings. “Given that the traditional view of mental health so closely aligns with mental illness and a diagnosis, it’s not surprising.”

This illness-focused way of thinking perpetuates fear about mental health and the belief that it’s something only “others” have. This can lead to a lack of awareness and self-management, hesitation to seek support early (or at all) and stigma – the thing we hear the most about related to mental health. Speak Up’s model considers mental health as relevant to everyone, everyday. It’s comprised of the TF&B we experience and their eff ect on our everyday lives. Our mental health is affected by many factors – social and physical environments, and biology, and many of these can be changed, including through self-management.

15 sec orange partial clock icon (2)Speak Up believes changing the conversation around mental health will change the experience that youth have in managing their own mental health and how they view and interact with others. Changing how society thinks and talks about mental health is the fi rst step to creating a healthier and more caring society overall.

The Speak Up team wants youth to lead the charge on this cause. Take up the challenge: Feb. 3 to Mar. 31 Moedt hopes youth will take up the challenge, and participate in Speak Up’s 15 Seconds 4 Change eight-week social media awareness campaign from February 3 to March 31.

This year’s campaign theme, “This is Mental Health,” encourages postings to Instagram and other social media tools that illustrate mental health in every aspect of the lives of youth

“Youth are open to seeing mental health from a fresh perspective,” Moedt says. “They’re willing to challenge established understandings of mental health, and make a diff erence in the world.” Using hashtags for their TF&B (#worried, #confident, #happy, #sad, #exercising, #relaxing etc.), #15seconds4change and #thisismentalhealth, youth are encouraged to post images and videos to instagram that illustrate the range of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that make up our mental health.

tf&b blue stacked words meme (2)Creating the posts will help youth connect to their own TF&B and recognize that their daily experiences reflect and affect their mental health, helping them to better understand and manage it. The posts will also help reduce the stigma usually attached to discussions of mental health by making it a universal part of being human. “Knowing how TF&B aff ect your daily life not only helps you care for yourself, it helps you care for others by giving you a greater understanding of what others may be experiencing,” Moedt explained. “15 Seconds 4 Change is about more than teaching tolerance, it’s about changing how we think about mental health – seeing it as something we all have and how positive and negative TF&B influence how we are doing.”

Exclusively funded by Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, Speak Up is part of Fraser Health’s efforts to deliver more effective mental health care. “Mental health isn’t static,” Moedt said. “It changes, even in the course of a day depending on what’s happening. It’s important for youth to recognize that mental health colours every day of their lives.

This campaign will run for two months, but its effects will be felt for a lifetime.” michael9522 Greatest feeling! Won the fi nals! #werock #sohappy #15seconds4change #speakup4mh #thisismentalhealth michael952 michael9522 Greatest feeling! Won the fi nals! #werock #sohappy #15seconds4change #speakup4mh #thisismentalhealth 43 likes smartt.girl I’ll never learn all of this! #defeated #homeworkhell #15seconds4change #speakup4mh #thisismentalhealth lola2516 16 likes lola2516 Daily walks give me a time out #chillingout #15seconds4change #speakup4mh #thisismentalhealth lola2516 Daily walks give me a time out #chillingout #15seconds4change #speakup4mh #thisismentalhealth.


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