In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Instagram co-launched a powerful campaign to help raise awareness on social media.
The #RealConvo Campaign — spearheaded by both Instagram and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP,) an organization that helps those affected by suicide — encourages people to use the hashtag to share their own personal mental health experiences and speak more openly about their struggles.
On Thursday, the introduced the campaign with the help of nine people who are challenging the idea that Instagram is exclusively a place for sharing positive moments, filtered photos, and superficial glimpses at seemingly-perfect lifestyles.
Each of the nine leaders, actresses, activists, entrepreneurs, writers, and more created a video in the hopes of inspiring others to use the platform to engage in authentic conversations around mental health.
Among the group of contributors is , a 23-year-old actress best known for her role in the show, Pretty Little Liars. In her #RealConvo video, Pieterse explained how she often compared herself to other people’s Instagram posts, until one day she decided to let her guard down and share a not-so-glamorous glimpse at her reality.
“A while ago I wasn’t sure what was going on with my health so I put out a post that said ‘I’m under construction,'” she said. “I’m so glad I did because it was the first real convo that I had on Instagram and it was basically saying that nobody’s perfect, everybody goes through things in their life.”
& — founders of , a non-profit that aims to reduce stigma around mental health and provide mental health services to those who lack access to treatment, and , a resource for men within the mental health community — also created a video. Together, they discussed the importance of being vulnerable and creating healthy dialogues around mental health disorders like depression.
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