I have been hosting the American Psychiatric Association's #YourMH Twitter Chat for a few weeks now. The most common question I get asked is: “What is a Twitter Chat?”
In brief, a twitter chat is “where a group of Twitter users meet at a pre-determined time to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hashtag (#) for each tweet contributed.” The Twitter-Chat-101 goes on to state:
A host or moderator will pose questions (designated with Q1, Q2…) to prompt responses from participants (using A1, A2…) and encourage interaction among the group. Chats typically last an hour… Imagine a business networking event—but without a dress code and with a keyboard instead of a bar.
The same social customs apply—courtesy and respect—and it’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Twitter chats provide a chance to network and grow your circle (and knowledge!) through shared interests.
Each #YourMH chat brings together a diverse group including those suffering from mental illness, family and friends of those impacted with Mental Illness and Addictions, Mental Health Advocates and Mental Health professionals.
As host, I pose 7 Mental Health related topics/questions to the group over the course of one hour. Everyone brings something unique to the discussion and everyone is invited to join. I always walk away having learned something new. To read more about why these chats help to decrease the stigma associated with Mental Illness check out my Huffington Post article, "3 Startling Facts About Mental Illness Stigma and 3 Ways You Can Fight It."
We have discussed Veteran’s Mental Health and Smoking Cessation over the past few weeks. The next discussion will be the last of the year and will focus on HIV/AIDS and Mental Health as Monday was World AIDS Day. As a culmination for the year we will also discuss other topics that were important to Mental Health and Addiction in 2014.
If you are interested in joining the next American Psychiatric Association #YourMH chat, please join us this Friday, December 5th, from Noon to 1pm EST.
If you are not a member, joining twitter is easy. Once you are a member, use the hashtag “#YourMH” to follow along and participate.
You can follow me (@DocGoldenberg) on Twitter for updates and reminders about future chats!
I hope to see you there!