Newsletter discusses the use of social media for outreach and feedback

If you’re at all interested in how a large addictions and  mental health agency is using social media to increase outreach and feedback about behavioural health messages (ranging from suicide prevention to underage drinking to school violence to regional use of methamphetamine), you might want to take a look at the most recent newsletter from SAMHSA.

SAMHSA has started a “digital engagement” program through the use of four major social media channels—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. They also have a blog that serves as a hub for these efforts. Their goal is to increase and improve communications with the behavioral health field, public and nonprofit organizations, the recovery community, and other audiences and individuals  concerned with substance abuse and mental health issues by using multiple forms of engagement. Right now, SAMHSA now has more than 7,300 followers on Facebook.

On another note, I was intrigued by some statistics I ran into last week on the use of the Internet by mothers.

  • 39% of moms make Internet time their “quiet time”
  • The number of moms who use social media regularly (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, BabyCenter Community) has significantly increased from 11% to 63% since 2006
  • More than four in 10 (44%) percent use social media for word-of-mouth recommendations on brands and products and 73% feel they find trustworthy information about products and services through online communities focused on their specific interests such as parenting.
  • In online communities, children’s health issues are the leading topic of interest in online communities (91%) followed by childhood development tips (79%) and product reviews (72 %).
  • The internet has become moms #1 source (77%) for recipes, significantly more than cookbooks (36%).

With many moms spending a couple of hours a day on-line, it makes sense that public health agencies and women’s organizations would want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the World Wide Web to communicate with women.