In the first part of our blog about mental health in connection with social media, we highlighted the importance of tackling this problem and doing something about it. We would now like to introduce you to two organizations that have set themselves the goal of doing just that: Irrsinnig Menschlich & Aktionsbündnis Seelische Gesundheit.
What is the idea behind Irrsinnig Menschlich e. V.?
"We strengthen young people, reduce suffering and reduce social consequential damages!"
This is the motto of the organization based in Leipzig, which focuses primarily on mental health and mental illness among schoolchildren, students and trainees. It addresses a wide range of problems such as addiction, bullying, depression and the negative consequences of digital networks and social media.
Actively designed work
With different event formats such as lectures, presentations and most of all workshops which are held directly on site at school, university or at the workplace, the community should be strengthened. Each individual has the opportunity to talk openly about his or her problems, to learn more about the topic of social media addiction and its consequences, and most importantly, to interact with other people in order to replace the feeling of loneliness with hope and joy.
The focus is also on the prevention of mental illnesses and the freedom to address them openly. Unfortunately, the topic is often still "taboo" and many young people keep their problems, with which they have to struggle internally, to themselves. This is exactly where Irrsinnig Menschlich comes into action.
The project Verrückt? Na und!, which takes place both nationally and internationally, offers schools the opportunity for special school days and training programs. The focus is not only on the students themselves, but also on teachers and the school itself and how they can make a positive contribution. At these interactive events, students are helped by giving them the feeling that they are not alone and that they have someone who is listening, as well as to learn how to deal with problems or negative thoughts.
Road to success
For 20 years, Irrsinnig Menschlich has been helping young people deal with and prevent their mental illnesses and problems. In 2019 alone, the organization was able to reach and help around 40,000 young people with their projects.
Since then, they have received multiple awards and are also active in Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Aktionsbündnis Seelische Gesundheit
The second organization we would like to introduce to you is called Aktionsbündnis Seelische Gesundheit. Founded in 2006 and with already over 120 member organizations, it is committed to giving mental illness a new image. They want to educate the public that these are treatable and curable illnesses, and that they affect people more often than we might think. What is very important to the organization is to show ways to better integrate affected people in everyday social and professional life, so that they do not feel excluded and lonely, but as part of the community.
The organization achieves this goal by launching projects and campaigns organized by the public itself but also by its member organizations. These projects aim to help people reduce stigmas, educate about mental and psychological issues and, above all, prevent them.
Making a difference
One of the organization's two best-known campaigns is the Mental Health Week. Around 50 regions and cities are part of the project every year, and together they implement over 400 events that take place both locally and digitally. Each participant has the opportunity to address their problems and feelings and get professional help. It is a way to encourage people with mental health problems to open up to others and thus seek help and support.
Another well-known campaign is the Green Ribbon campaign - an international symbol that stands for openness and tolerance in society when it comes to mental illness. The Green Ribbon stands for acceptance and wants to show people that they are not alone and thus should not feel excluded. In Germany, some well-known personalities have already worn the Green Ribbon and it has also been shared on social media, which is once again a good example of how social media can be used for positive purposes.
The younger generation in particular, often affected by mental illness and stress, amplified by the use of social media, often find themselves reflected in these issues. Organizations like the ones presented above rely primarily on subsidies and donations. Therefore, it is important to support them in order to also support people - perhaps even those in your own environment - and to give them a sense of community.