America is experiencing a mental health crisis as suicide remains one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States among all age groups. The COVID-19 pandemic is amplifying the mental health crisis in the United States. On top of the stressors of the pandemic, individuals of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups continue to experience blatant acts of racism, which add to the mental health burden. With the onset of the pandemic, social media has become a crucial tool for health communication. Given the interactive nature of social media and that many Americans use social media as their preferred source of news, this prompts an evaluation on the effectiveness of utilizing social media as a learning tool to improve mental health literacy. The objective of this rapid systematic review was to evaluate social media content on mental health literacy in the United States. One reviewer extracted 1000 articles from PubMed and PsycINFO and screened the articles by title and abstract. After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, seven articles were included for review. Overall, Facebook and Twitter show limited evidence in improving mental health literacy for users, while YouTube shows promise in delivering mental health education and promoting help-seeking among users in the United States. Although further research is needed to understand the true association between mental health content on social media and the impact on health outcomes, healthcare providers and public health professionals can maximize certain platforms to deliver health communication messages on mental health topics.
Recommended CitationKong, Wendy, "Social Media on Mental Health Literacy in the United States: A Rapid Review" (2021). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 397.