Inspired by the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge,' several farmers launched a social media campaign to fight the stigma of mental illness. In the agricultural industry, suicide and mental illness is often seen as a taboo topic. Alex Paske wanted to use social media to encourage people to open up about the prevalence of mental health issues in the industry.
Paske began the project after losing her friend to suicide. To help raise funds for a suicide prevention charity, Paske began sharing selfies with her tractor. As Paske explains, "we want to raise awareness of mental illness within the farming community while keeping Rob’s favorite thing at the forefront of it all; tractors." She then encouraged others to share their own tractor selfies and tag them with the hashtag '#TractorSelfie4Rob.' The social media campaign has not only helped raise charitable funds, but it has also helped to dispel some of the stigma of mental illness in the agricultural industry.
This ongoing campaign demonstrates how social media can be used to open up a dialogue surrounding medical issues.