Mapping Mental Health Intermediaries: Vulnerable Publics and Platformed Support

Anthony McCosker, Really owan Wilken

Abstract


This paper examines online support programs for people with mental health problems through a case study of the Australian non-profit mental health organisation beyondblue’s Facebook Page and dedicated support Forums. We draw on the concept of ‘vulnerable publics’ to account for the differences in modes of support between the Facebook Page and Forums. Digital methods and qualitative analysis help distinguish patterns of participation, connective action and platformed and human mediation between the two sites. This is part of a larger project to identify better models for using popular social media platforms like Facebook to facilitate community- based, peer mental health support. Our analysis identifies standout characteristics of the 'intermediaries' both human and non-human or platformed (Smith-Maguire and Matthews, 2012; Moor, 2012) as they affect the impact of peer-oriented online mental health support, in order to better understand what we are referring to as vulnerable networked publics.

Keywords


mental health, cultural intermediaries, affective publics, Facebook

Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.