Making Public Health More Social
By Andrew Wilson
SAMHSA recently launched its Social Health Hub to help support public health organizations interested in using social media in support of their agency’s mission. The Hub seeks to provide a central location for public health practitioners to learn from the work of their peers. It will include practical guidance, case studies and information on how social media can have a positive, demonstrable impact.
How this Supports SAMHSA’s Mission
Social media, like any other organizational effort, should not be conducted in a vacuum but should be clearly connected to the larger vision for achieving an organization’s mission. SAMHSA’s Public Awareness and Support Strategic Initiative recognizes the value of social media as an effective tool for public engagement and SAMHSA’s social media team is committed to collaborating with our federal, state and local colleagues. By partnering with public health agencies at all levels of government, SAMHSA can help build a robust, nationwide network of social media practitioners. This network will serve as a valuable resource for the entire public health community and help SAMHSA reach larger and more diverse audiences with the message that behavioral health, defined as a state of mental/emotional being and/or choices and actions that affect wellness, is an essential component to overall health.
How You Can Help
Peer learning and peer sharing are designed to be at the core of this effort. SAMHSA’s Social Media Hub is meant to be just that, a hub to bring together the ideas and the activities of the public health community. This initiative is just getting started but it is only through your support and participation that this project will be successful.
Some of the ways that you can participate now include:
- Finding your local health department in our Public Health Social Media Directory and verifying that we have captured all of the official social media accounts. If not, let us know what we are missing and we will update the listing.
- Sharing a case study of how your agency has used social media to help your colleagues across the country make the best use of these valuable tools.
- Liking us on Facebook, Following us on Twitter, Watching our videos on YouTube and including behavioral health information as part of the messages you share on your own social media platforms.
Finally, please share this project and this post with any colleagues interested in or actively using social media as part of their public health activities. Together, we can make public health more social.
|Andrew Wilson is the New Media Strategist for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. His full office location acronym is HHS/SAMHSA/OA.|
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