Social media is not just for adolescents; mental health care providers are finding many uses to stay connected with clients as well. Whether it is staying in touch with past clients or groups, posting inspirational messages, or even hosting alumni groups remotely, social media and networking sites give providers of mental health care additional tools to stay in touch with their clients.
Reaching Out to Clients Where They Are
Social media is where many adolescents spend a large portion of their free time, so why not reach out to clients where they are? Offering support for their mental wellness and recovery on the social media apps they are already using is one way to make sure that they get the message.
If social media is not your area of expertise or something you have time for, you can hire someone to manage your social media accounts for you for a relatively nominal fee, depending on what you want. Instagram is the app that most of your clients are likely using and may fit best into the kind of content and interactions you would make use of, but you could also set up accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.
For ideas on how to set up a successful social media campaign for mental health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created some guidelines for a campaign. You can use social media in many different ways to help your clients; the choice is yours.
Offering Inspiration and Support Through Social Media
Some providers set up social media accounts to provide regular inspiration and support. This could look like an Instagram or other account where you post a daily inspirational thought, a quote about recovery, or a success story from someone in recovery. You could also share reminders about daily habits for success, coping strategies, meditation, or relaxation techniques.
You could also post quick little videos of yourself on Instagram or TikTok with messages of inspiration or hope or even simple tips or reminders of your favorite ideas from group or individual therapy. You can make it as personal or as general as you like, knowing that your messages can have greater reach through social media than even your client base.
Maintaining Contact With Past Clients and Groups
Social media and social networking sites are great ways to stay in touch with current or past clients, including past groups. You can set up quick daily check-ins when you know someone is having a tough week, or clients can share their triumphs with you and others if they choose to.
Using social networking sites is also a great way to share news about support groups, meetings, and other events that may interest your clients. Likewise, others can network and share news with one another. They can even share tips and techniques that are working for them or ask for help with specific struggles.
Social media platforms like Facebook Groups are very easy to set up and use for something like this, or you could look into a more elaborate online forum, chat room, or another type of group. There is no shortage of ways to connect through social media or social networking; your options are based more on your availability and resources.
Hosting Alumni Groups via Social Media
Social media platforms now also have the capacity to host alumni or other groups. While platforms like Zoom and Google hangouts became popular during COVID-19, you must send a link and password to everyone and set up meeting times, and you may need to have a paid account to host. However, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all have video chat features within the apps that allow you to meet without as much hassle.
The benefit of using these apps is that you can use the accounts for other purposes the rest of the time and just use the video chat features built into the platform for your groups. You can check with the individual platform for security settings, time, and group size limits. Still, for typical support groups, Facebook Messenger Rooms will support a group of up to 50 people, for example. Social media makes it easy to keep in touch with alumni groups.
One point to keep in mind is that if your alumni groups are more than just catching up and you need confidentiality, consider using platforms like Zoom or Google Meet that have encryption capabilities or a HIPAA-compliant account like Zoom for Healthcare.
Creating Space for Peer-To-Peer Support
Another resource you can create by utilizing social media is space for peer-to-peer support. You can create your own group with current or past clients, or you can open it up to anyone with specific addiction or mental health diagnoses. By creating the space, you allow peers to connect and offer support for each other within your space. Giving clients the opportunity to support one another helps them continue to grow in their recovery.
Using social media is a great way to reach adolescent clients where they are by offering messages of inspiration and support or staying in touch with current or past groups and clients. You can also use social media to host alumni groups or create spaces for peer-to-peer support. Using social media is another tool that you have to offer support to your clients. Sustain Recovery knows the importance of offering continued support and outreach to teens in recovery. Our extended residential program for adolescents with addiction and co-occurring mental health diagnoses offers structured care, especially for teens who have struggled with traditional programs. Our extended program allows time to build support and make connections in their communities to ensure greater success after treatment. Contact Sustain Recovery today at (949) 407-9052 to find out if our program is right for your client.