Chapter 5 – A Social network for and of Mental Health

Why not a group(s) at the existing social media?

It is obvious that the possibility of elaborating, developingand implementing such a process is made possible by the existing communication and networking technologies.

Orientation towards the use of existing universal social networks would lead to the perpetuation of fragmentation as we would seek Mental Health as part of the social contacts of individuals (Facebook), as a professional occupation (LinkedIn) or as a circulation and commentary of relevant news and tweets (Tweeter). But all three examples are strong evidence of the dynamics expressed by wide-ranging or global networks. And not only. It is clear that the field of Mental Health is not very attractive for creating OPEN SOCIAL NETWORKS. Unnumbered entities and communities of any kind, corporate sponsored or not, are found:

But fragmentation is produced, expanded, and sustained either intentionally (as a means of controlling and limiting information) or instinctively: a series of entities create enhanced exclusivity / specialization profiles or customer relationships as a means of ensuring their viability regardless of the unconscious or conscious development models.

In this light, a project for the development of a Social Networking Platform as described requires three conditions:

  1. Autonomy –Independence
    A practice to avoid:
    For years, the relation between a global brand and an international health communication network was hidden. Right after a bribery scandal, there was no reason to keep this cooperation secret and an official business contract was announced.
  2. Non-profit orientation
    Business operating models of Wikipedia or Mozilla provide quite sufficient frameworks to be explored. At first sight a hybrid of nonprofit –direct participation is the innovation core of MENTALWORLD.
  3. Participation / interconnectivity / interaction
    The provision of the above 3 conditions can only come from the dynamics of the system and its ability to provide answers to its critical questions:
  • transparency
  • liability,
  • data protection,
    Internal (self)regulatory) capabilities would not be considered as valid as those of an external collaboration such as this with “Privacy International”
  • usability,
  • efficacy / operational capacity and
  • sustainability.