Social Networking for Mental Health

Posted on October 19, 2010
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Fountain House is excited to announce the launch of HeadStrongCampus.org, a new social networking site for current and prospective students struggling with mental health issues. Mental illness often manifests for the first time during young adulthood. At a time when their peers are happily choosing their majors or planning careers, students with mental illness can easily become overwhelmed and isolated. HeadStrongCampus.org hopes to provide a supportive community both to students who have been diagnosed with an illness and to those experiencing symptoms for the first time but hesitant to seek treatment.
 
Fountain House developed this site because many of our students described feeling isolated on campus.  In surveys, they reported having trouble meeting other students and reluctance to join clubs and other extracurricular activities. At HeadStrongCampus.org, students can disclose their mental illness and make new friends who are going through similar experiences, without fear of being judged.       

HeadstrongCampus.org combines the approaches of two popular social networking sites, Facebook and MeetUp. On the website, students can create their own profiles, upload images and art work, and even write a blog for others to read. An Ask the Experts section allows members to ask Fountain House professionals about school-related topics, psychiatric symptoms and medications, and wellness issues. Members are encouraged to attend monthly student gatherings at Fountain House, so that virtual connections can become face-to-face relationships that extend back to campus.   

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