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Using Social Media to Support Young People in Your Community

Using Social Media to Support Young People in Your Community

During these uncertain times we’re seeing many celebrities, organizations, families and individuals jumping on social media to connect with followers and friends. Now is a great time to utilize the program leaders you’ve trained to support your local community via social media platforms.

Below are some ideas for what you can offer via Facebook Live, Instagram, Instagram Live and IG TV (to name a few). This is where youth, young adults and their families spend their time. If you’re not familiar with using these platforms in new ways, please see some helpful links at the end of this document. You can also ask young adults; they’ll know what to do and will be happy to share their knowledge!

Remember, there are young people involved in NAMI who would love to get creative with this. Ask them what is most helpful to them right now.


Ideas for supporting youth, young adults and their families as we adapt to this new way of living:

  • Collect questions from followers and then ask a local child psychologist to answer those questions during a live event or pre-record their answers and post.
  • Reach out to your NAMI Ending the Silence young adult presenters or NAMI on Campus leaders to share how they’re coping during this time via a live event or pre-recorded video. Ask them to share positive coping skills they’re using and ways they’re staying connected to the outside world. Make viewers learn activities that they can try after watching.
  • Have NAMI members, staff, volunteers and program leaders film short videos while they’re doing activities to pass the time while sheltering in place. This is also a great time to have parents/caregivers share activities that they’re doing with their school age children, or ways they’re handling virtual school days.
  • Create a “fill in the blank” that followers can answer with a picture. For example: “I’m grateful today for……” and someone can post a picture holding up a sign that says “I’m grateful today for sunshine” or they can film a quick video filling in the blank.
  • Request pictures from program leaders and make a collage with a post about being “stronger together” or “together alone.” Ask followers to collect photos of their support network to create their collage to post.
  • Create interactive posts that allow followers to share what they’re doing. Examples: What are you doing for self-care? What’s been your favorite in-home activity to do? What’s the first thing you plan to do when restrictions are lifted?
  • Create a challenge! Examples: push up challenge, walk around the block challenge, jumping jacks, cooking a new recipe, learning a TikTok dance, sidewalk chalk art, daily meditations, reaching out to a friend, etc. Then people can tag and challenge other friends to do the same. How this plays out:
    • Someone posts a video of them doing 10 push-ups and during the video and in the post, they challenge 1-3 of their friends to do the same.
  • Set a time once a week/once every 2 weeks for virtual check-ins with your young adults. Allow them to connect with their peers and offer support. You can also do this for parents/caregivers of school age children, NAMI on Campus leaders, etc. This doesn’t have to be a formal support group, just an open forum for people to share how they’re feeling and what they’re doing while sheltering in place. If you choose to do this, it’s best to explain that this is an open forum and if someone is seeking an actual support group, those are available ______________ (share where, when, what platform).
  • Allow a Facebook or Instagram takeover. Create a new password for your account and allow a trusted young adult to take over the platform, giving “day in the life” images, videos and activities that other young adults can relate to.
  • Do a simple post asking what your followers need right now. Allow their comments to guide you in planning your social media activities.


Helpful Resources on Social Media

Facebook Live

Instagram Live

Instagram Live with Q&A

IGTV (Instagram TV)

There are many more available in your favorite search engine like Google or on YouTube.

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