MPH Student Featured on Inside Mizzou Podcast

Kelli Buchanan, a Master of Public Health student, spoke on MU Chancellor Cartwright’s podcast, Inside Mizzou, about a study she helped conduct regarding mental health communication on instagram.

The goal of the researchers (who also include Namyeon Lee, PhD student in the School of Journalism, and Dr. Mansoo Yu, their faculty mentor who has appointments in Social Work and Public Health), was to shrink the treatment gap by sharing information about treatment options on social media platforms, specifically instagram.

“We’re interested in looking at communication about mental health because of how many people deal with these types of illnesses in the US. It’s a really big public health problem,” said Buchanan.

Nearly 40 percent of adult Americans use instagram and around 20 percent of the population has dealt with mental illness. But only about half of them have sought treatment for mental illness. This study is taking a look at addressing the treatment gap by asking “How and why do people communicate about mental health on instagram?”.

“So our study provides preliminary support that we can extend established health communication theories to social media, which might in turn help providers quickly and more effectively harness the power of these platforms to extend access to important information and resources related to mental health,” said Buchanan.

Great work Kelli! To listen to the podcast, click here!

To read more about their study, click here.