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Social media: new links for Indigenous health

Public health journalist Melissa Sweet highlights successes that have resulted from innovative use of social media

Around the world, social media is a disrupting and transforming force, bringing new opportunities for innovation and participation.1 In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed resources to provide guidance on using social media in health communication.2 In the United Kingdom, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement encouraged its staff to explore the potential of using social media to transform care and staff engagement.3

In Australia, the Indigenous health sector has been at the forefront of innovative use of social media for advocacy, public health promotion and community development. Two striking examples are the Lowitja Institute’s nuanced explanation of knowledge exchange from Indigenous perspectives4 and the Healing Foundation’s engaging explanation of the impact of colonisation on Indigenous health.5

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) was an early adopter of social media, and finds it a valuable advocacy tool, according…

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