Thursday, August 31, 2017

Social Media, Technology, and Nonprofit Related Sessions at APA 2017 Convention

Earlier this month, I got to attend part of APA's Convention.  Here is a summary of some of the sessions:

Activism - Can Psychologists Be Scholar Activists on Social Media?
(notes from discussion session)

Functional Building Blocks of Social Media
  • Frequency: The number of times a post is displayed on social media platform ("going viral", #TrendingTopic)
  • Accessibility: Social media tools are generally available to the public
  • Immediacy: Social Media platforms provides instant information and response.
  • Usability: Anyone with access can operate the social media production
Social Media has transformed traditional media
  • The public has the power to inform
  • Audience is less passive and more active
  • Traditional media utilizes social media
People use more than one social media site because:
  • Each site is used for a different reason
  • Their personality can be shown in different ways

#BeWell: The Organic Generation and Use of Hashtags to Promote Mental Health
(poster session)

This research looked at the content associated with hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram that were created in response to some mental health event. Two hashtags,  #YouGoodMan and #YesAllWomen, were looked at for this study. Both of these were trending and in news articles.

Hashtags can be used to follow discussions about issues and events related to mental health. It was suggested that organically generated hashtags can be connected to organizational mental health awareness campaigns.

Senior Citizen Volunteerism: It's Impact on the Provider and Recipient of Services
(poster session)

Recent research has confirmed that volunteering as an elder can lead to decrease in depression, improved physical health, higher life satisfaction, and may delay physical and cognitive decline.

This research surveyed senior citizen volunteers and senior clients of the RSVP SeniorCare Program.

The findings confirmed that both the volunteers and recipients showed improved mental and physical health.

It was suggested in this poster that these benefits should be highlighted at local council of aging offices and social media to encourage seniors to volunteer.

The Availability of Online Resources for Psychological Adjustment After Adult Vision Loss
(poster session)

This study looked at 46 websites for organizations that provide blind rehabilitation to see what information they had about mental health.

  • 13 (28.3%) of these websites had information about psychological adjustment to vision loss and the need for mental health counseling
  • 16 sites (34.8%) provided a list of books and websites about mental health adjustment post-vision loss
Their findings suggest that this issue is overlooked and patients will have a hard time finding these resources. It was suggested that these organizations need to offer more mental health services and to update their websites with this information.