Therapist Omar Bazza uses Twitter to educate and break down barriers about mental health with those who find him on the social media platform. By making himself available for questions, he is able to provide resources and information that can support people to better understand, identify and manage their mental health.
When I first started my therapy practice 10 years ago, I made a conscious decision to stay away from social media because I worried about the intersection of a public persona with my role as a therapist.
But I’ve been following Omar Bazza, a fellow Toronto based therapist, on Twitter for a little while now and I admire what he’s doing in this space.
One of the powerful things about social media is its accessibility. Omar recognized that everyone he interacted with didn’t necessarily have access to mental health support, and he saw that many also asked similar questions.
With the encouragement and support of his partner, Omar decided to use Twitter as a platform to discuss and de-stigmatize mental health.
He has been focusing on three kinds of contents in relation to mental health for his Twitter account:
- He educates, gives context and descriptions about mental health
- He holds regular Ask Me Anything (AMA) or Q&As related to mental health every weekend
- He encourages folks to DM him with more personal questions
The majority of Omar’s audience comes from Southeast Asia and North America, and many don’t come from a culture where mental health or therapeutic support is well understood and/or provided.
So he spends time teaching about identifying and naming mental health concerns, and various aspects of mental health. His intention is to break down barriers about mental health that might hinder individuals from getting the help they may need.
The majority of Omar’s interactions start off with a tweet or an Ask Me Anything post, but many also contact him by direct messages (DM).
Because Twitter limits character usage, he has a need to be very concise in his tweets, but for those who engage him via DM, it allows him to be more detailed and less constrained by character limitations.
The majority of his questions are about anxiety and depression, and most people just want to have a better understanding of what it is that they may be feeling and experiencing.
I really admire the work Omar is doing to de-stigmatize mental health. I think it’s important to find ways to make mental health support more accessible, so that everyone, regardless of geography or circumstances, can get the support they need to live as fully in all aspects of health, as possible.
- Omar shares a favorite tool for dealing with anxiety.
- We discuss how social media can benefit therapists and clients.
- How Omar got started on Twitter and how his mission evolved.
● Omar Bazza’s Twitter: @BazzaPower on Twitter
● Omar’s Recommended Resource: Mind Over Mood
● Life Stuff 101: lifestuff101.com | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
● Mio Yokoi: Registered Psychotherapist