Mental Health in Online Communities: How University Students Use Online Communities to Discuss Mental Illness
Many students experience mental health issues while in university. Disclosing such issues, to a counselor, or friends and family can help cope with mental illness. Recent research found that it is also common for individuals to disclose mental health problems on social media. We collected mental health posts made by university students on online communities, and conducted a thematic analysis to investigate what students are posting about, and why they might be posting. We found that forum communities tended to have longer posts, usually disclosing mental health issues and asking for advice, while social media content focused on the negative impact of university on mental health, and lack of mental health support from universities. Replies to forum posts contained advice, while those to social media content offered support or empathy.
Geiskkovitch, D. Y., Bunt, A., & Young, J. E. (2018) Mental Health in Online Communities: How University Students Use Online Communities to Discuss Mental Illness. Graphics Interface. Poster.