Activamente: A Transnational Mental Health Journalism Network
Mutante (Colombia), Chequeado (Argentina), GK (Ecuador),  Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP)
September - December 2021

Themes: Mental Health, COVID-19 Pandemic Cover, Citizen Journalism, Solutions Journalism.

My role: Project Coordinator, Senior Editor, Reporter, Social Media Strategist.

Language: Spanish

Activamente was the first mental health information network in Latin America aiming to collaboratively produce and distribute high-quality information on the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of young Latin Americans during the COVID-19 crisis.

This transnational journalistic initiative brought together volunteer citizens, mental health specialists, data journalists, and reporters from Mutante in Colombia, Chequeado in Argentina, GK in Ecuador, and the Latin American Center for Journalistic Investigation (CLIP) from September to December 2020.

Together, we examined how the COVID-19 quarantine measures affected the mental well-being of young people. It became evident that they were among the most affected by the government-imposed lockdowns in Colombia, Argentina, and Ecuador. To address their needs, we generated and disseminated information on the topic.

During these three months, Activamente's team, including myself as the network coordinator, distributed various forms of content such as articles, reports, and podcasts through WhatsApp chats. This approach aimed to foster informed discussions on mental health, which were then replicated by volunteers.

Messages distributed via WhatsApp. Credit: Activamente
We collected their personal stories and encouraged the audience to engage in a three-week digital conversation under the hashtag #HablemosDeSaludMental.

Many participants shared experiences of depression, anxiety, and a sense of purposelessness in life. Others, who had struggled with pre-existing emotional issues like eating disorders, faced severe setbacks.

Throughout the exercise, Activamente's journalists continuously shared content, including articles, reports, and podcasts, through WhatsApp chats to facilitate informed discussions about mental health among volunteers.

The network collaborated with Chequeado in Argentina, GK in Ecuador, and the Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) across the region.

These easily accessible and shareable pieces were produced in partnership with the investigative team from the Health section of El Espectador. Additionally, we worked alongside Colombia Check to scrutinize numerous instances of "fake news."

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    Social Justice Researcher and Designer  Strategic Communicator Journalist • Anthropologist •  Curator • Educator

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