A new phenomenon has surfaced in the last 6 years, and in some cases, has made an effective change in the volume of the public voice. This phenomenon is referred to as “Hashtag Activism,” a way for people to congregate and speak up over the internet.
Poverty and mental health are both attached to a certain stigma that for some reason makes most people avoid the subjects entirely, or push them under the rug, so to speak. “My Hunger Games,” is an organization whose work highlights the struggle of people under the poverty line, who suffer from mental health issues, through their hashtag, “#MyHungerGames.”
Awareness is incredibly important, especially for people who struggle with any kind of mental illness, because in most cases the illness itself restricts the ability to be open and talk about it in public. When a popular hashtag like #MyHungerGames surfaces, it can allow people to feel comfortable sharing their struggle with the world, and therefore eliminate any stigma typically attached.
Dior Vargas discusses her particular situation, publicly, for the first time, thanks to #MyHungerGames:
Dior Vargas, via Project UROK
If it were not for the hashtag #MyHungerGames, many stories like hers would never have been told. Once mental illness and poverty become a viral topic on the internet, it will be increasingly difficult to ‘sweep them under the rug,’ and we can move forward in accepting and remedying them.