What Can 12 Million Conversations Tell Us About Mental Health?
(8 months ago)
BRIGHTON, England: A major new report examining 12.9 million online conversations surrounding mental health has been published today by national anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label, in partnership with leading social intelligence company Brandwatch.
The largest study of its kind, the UK Mental Health Study 2017 explores the link between bullying and mental health by analysing public online conversations over the course of a five-year time period, across sites including Twitter, Instagram, blogs, forums and online news sources.
Using social listening to surface unsolicited insights, the report attains an authentic picture of how the UK discusses mental health online everyday.
Edward Crook, Research Manager at Brandwatch says, "There's a lot of existing research on mental health, but no one has ever conducted a digital study at this scale. Social media provides the biggest ever pool of human thought, and we used Brandwatch to understand 12.9 million of these conversations in the UK. This gives an unprecedented view of how we relate to mental health and how we experience symptoms. This is research with purpose; our findings are geared toward challenging the stigma surrounding mental health, improving awareness and tackling barriers to care."
Research from Ditch the Label has continually drawn links between bullying and mental health issues, with their Annual Bullying Survey 2017 finding that of those who have been bullied online:
•2 in 5 have gone on to develop social anxiety
•2 in 5 went on to develop depression
•1 in 4 have had suicidal thoughts
Liam Hackett, Founder and CEO of Ditch the Label says, "The link between bullying and mental health is indisputable. Young people tell us all the time that living with the stigma of mental health is often harder than living with the symptoms. This research clearly shows that the UK has a stoic culture with negative attitudes towards emotional openness and crying. In order to rectify the epidemic of mental illness, we must challenge the harmful cultural norms and encourage emotional openness and challenge stigma at all levels. One young person previously told us that at the age of 14, he is navigating through depression, anxiety and panic attacks whilst trying to balance the stress of being bullied and exams. No young person should ever have to go through that experience."