Social Media: Staying Connected
SAMHSA is coordinating with other offices and operating divisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to expand the “viral” dissemination of public health information to communities in the Gulf affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“SAMHSA’s Facebook and Twitter sites are posting relevant messages and updates daily. We are posting not only our own content on behavioral health messages, but also related content from other Federal agencies working in the area,” said Steven Randazzo, who is leading social media efforts at SAMHSA.
Some of SAMHSA’s messages on Twitter have been “retweeted” by many other accounts, including the main HHS account, which has over 35,000 followers. The CDC/ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health account has over 71,000 followers.
“Through social media and the partnerships it provides, we’re reaching people faster than we could any other way,” Mr. Randazzo said. “Already, by working collaboratively with different parts of HHS, we have been able to send out a text message on mental health issues via the CDC network.”
For more information on social media at SAMHSA, visit the Agency’s Web site.
Twitter lets users subscribe to receive brief updates or “tweets” (a maximum 140 characters) from others whom they choose to “follow.” SAMHSA tweets include various announcements and links to resources and information.
Facebook lets users create their own sets of “friends” among whom they share brief updates, photos, links, or other information. Similarly, SAMHSA’s Facebook page offers users a place to follow SAMHSA’s updates and share information.
YouTube is a video sharing platform that allows viewers to watch videos on the YouTube site, on many mobile devices, and on other sites and blogs that have embedded YouTube videos on their pages. SAMHSA’s YouTube page provides an opportunity to share our information and ideas with a wide audience though a compelling, and increasingly popular, medium.
Flickr is an image sharing community that allows people to upload, share, comment, and rate images. SAMHSA is piloting a Flickr project with photos as part of the 2010 Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day events in Washington, DC.