My Doubtfire face: And why social media challenges matter

I was tagged by a friend on Facebook to do the Doubtfire Face For Suicide Prevention challenge. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s simple as this: Make your face look like Mrs. Doubtfire and say hello to suicide prevention. It is helping to spread awareness about suicide prevention and mental health and then nominate your friends to do the same. Challenges like this are spreading like wildfire–the ice bucket challenge to spread awareness about finding a cure for ALS, the #IPrayWhen challenge several months ago where people posed with signs that stated the times that they go to God in prayer. People–one by by one–are taking a stand.


After Robin Williams died I wrote the blog “In defense of Robin Williams: Suicide wasn’t his choice” and had an outpouring of stories, messages, emails, and notes from people all over who suffer from mental illness or know someone who struggles. And I realized more than ever the need to bring the issue to light, to take away the taboo nature of it all, and to do something about it.

So here it goes:

I’ve heard it said that these challenges are annoying. That they don’t do anything.

But 15 million dollars has already poured into the ALS foundation, thousands of people have decided to get help, and hundreds of thousands of people sifting through their news feeds and seeing the photos, videos, and attention of people all over the world is enough to stir a change. And YOU can be part of it. How is that annoying?

Social media has made the world small–it has taught us about each other, it has strengthened our understanding of the world and cultures and lifestyles, and it has given us the unique opportunity to be part of something that will be much more far reaching than anything we could have ever done on our own.

Robin Williams

Want to be part of it?

I sure do.

So now–I nominate YOU.

Go to my Facebook page and post your Doubtfire face with the reason why you’re spreading awareness for suicide prevention. I’ll post all of your pictures on my next blog and highlight your stories right here!

Now let’s see those faces! Ready, set, go!