Back in August I started a Twitter chat called #TalkMH. The aim of #TalkMH is to generate conversation, educate, and create a support network for anyone effected by mental illness. I think it's safe to say that, this week, we did just that.
After this week's chat I was feeling on top of the world after seeing such support and kindness during the chat, and we managed to get it trending for the third week running. It was great until shortly after the chat ended, when I came into contact with my first ever online troll.
'Can I just ask why you keep banging on about mental health issues? It's boring! People need to get up and stop overreacting'
'Just go for a walk or something'
The negative comments started with one person, and continued for a long while with two other men getting involved later on. People were even sending me private messages looking for an argument, but they didn't have a clue what they'd let themselves in for. There was an army. As well as my friends and readers, people I'd never even spoken to in my life were sticking up for me and defending the work that I do, sending kind tweets and messages as well as replying to all the negative comments, questioning the trolls and their comments to stick up for me and my mental health work. This went on until the next day and I'm still receiving messages and Tweets as I write this now.
After the 'just go for a walk' comments a hashtag was created and we managed to use it to spread further awareness and turn the negative, ignorant comments into a positive. By the end of the night we managed to get the hashtag trending which meant we were able to spread even further awareness across the social platform. It went viral.
I guess what I'm tying to say is, troll me as much as you like. Be as negative about mental illness and my blog as you like. But I will not stop. Situations like this prove exactly why awareness and education is needed, and why I will continue to do the work that I do.
#TalkMH takes place on Twitter every Thursday evening at 8.30PM UK time. Join the army!