PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION: Wellbeing during COVID-19: A social media takeover
Keywords:wellbeing, wellness, covid-19, resiliency, pharmacy, student
Introduction: Student wellbeing is a key component of pharmacy programmes, with most events occurring in-person through co-curricular or extra-curricular activities. With the shift to online classes due to COVID-19, many wellness events were cancelled due to social distancing limitations. However, promotion of wellbeing was considered to be of utmost importance during this time due to rising levels of stress and social isolation among students.
Description: The school’s Instagram and Facebook accounts were managed by a group of the university’s faculty for six weeks. Each week, different daily wellness themes were shared and participation by followers encouraged through quizzes, polls, or reposts. The Instagram stories and posting platforms were used routinely with select posts also shared via Facebook. A new hashtag was created and promoted to encourage additional posting and community building. Video stories were also shared of faculty expressing their mental/physical health challenges and subsequent coping mechanisms during COVID-19.
Results: During the last six weeks of virtual learning, 280 stories and 23 posts were shared via Instagram. Shared stories included promotion of: cardiovascular exercise, weight training, yoga, music, media, gratitude, recognition, positive thinking, coping and games. Overall, 20 different faculty and staff were involved in sharing video stories to promote wellbeing. Of the 13 posts also shared to Facebook, a total of 10,429 people were reached.
Conclusion: School social media platforms can be used to regularly connect virtually during times of crises. Promoting wellness activities can help engage students and faculty/staff to ensure they are focusing on their own wellbeing. With social distance regulations for the foreseeable future, pharmacy programs should consider using social media as a wellbeing tool for both student and faculty/staff engagement
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