Monday 13th August 2012
Social media is helping a mental health organisation to describe what it is like to have depression, and win it a new audience.
The Blurt Foundation is using the picture-led website Pinterest to use images to convey depression as part of its work to stamp out stigma which surrounds the illness.
Pinterest allows users to pin images to virtual pin boards. Fellow users can then 'like' what they see, or repin the item to one of their own boards.
Pinterest is the third most popular social media site behind Facebook and Twitter.
The Blurt Foundation's boards, which are available to Pinterest users and non-users to see, can be found at http://www.pinterest.com/blurtalerts.
They have all ready been noticed by the BBC's Jeremy Vine and Total Politics. Now, the charity is encouraging supporters to create their own boards to raise awareness of the illness which affects one in five people at some point in their lives. The email campaign started on August 13.
Jayne Hardy, from Plymouth and co-founder of Community Interest Company (CIC) Blurt, said: "At Blurt HQ, we know that explaining depression to someone can be a hard as pouring tea from a chocolate teapot. That's why we first started using Pinterest, we liked the idea that we could put together a visual of how depression feels. This board shows that we get it, 'it' being depression.
"In addition, we feel that images can be more powerful than words and may help those who've never experienced depression to understand the illness a bit more."
Pinterest boards are grouped by themes and given titles. Blurt's depression and politics board was noticed by Total Politics, leading to a guest blog spot by Jayne on depression in politics and the charity's inspiring bits and bobs board was noticed and tweeted by Jeremy Vine.
Supporters will need an account to start their own Pinterest boards. For help getting started, email email@example.com.