Using Instagram to Promote Recreation Therapy

Posted: February 25, 2018 by Starr LaMonde, CTRS

Instagram On A Phone

Hello Fellow Recreation Therapists!  I wanted to take a moment to discuss social media and what you can do to offer education and insight, not just to other recreation therapists, but multiple disciplines.   As many of you know, I offer a webpage with a few free resources. 

Is it negative?

I recently released a t-shirt that sparked a bit of conversation.  There were a couple of alarming statements regarding the shirt that I wanted to address, like hash tags aren’t professional.

Let’s take a moment to discuss the importance/relevance of the hashtags.  For those of you that are unaware, hashtags are used to tag/organize topics on instagram/twitter.  Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms (behind facebook and YouTube) with over 800 million users to date.  I love instagram  because it is easy to use and it allows the user to create hashtags to promote photos/info into multiple public feeds.

Guess how many posts are under #therapeuticrecreation.  5,616.  #recreationaltherapy 6,322.  Let’s see how many post are under #occupationaltherapy.  222,424.  Do we even want to look at #physicaltherapy? 833,321.  Instagram is free.  As a profession, we say we want respect and to educate others on how we benefit our patients.  Why are we not utilizing resources at our fingertips to do it?

For those of you that have an interest in Instagram use.  Here is a quick rundown.  Download the app from the app store and make an account.  You can take photos of whatever intervention you are using and then write about the intervention in the caption.  At the end of the caption include multiple hashtags.  I suggest to tag other disciplines as well so it shows up in their feeds.  An example could be #therapeuticrecreation #rectherapy #rehabilitation #occupationaltherapy #nursing #intervention #impowerment #independence #wellness.  These hashtags put your posts into 9 different feeds.  Add more hashtags or add less, but DO SOMETHING!  Instagram also allows you to make 60 second videos to “vlog” your segment.  You can also post photos from your library.  To really advance, you can download other free apps to edit and add text to your photos.  Make them eye catching and educational.

Another complaint regarding the shirt was the use of “play.”  We all work with different populations.  My background is mental health and special needs.  When did “play” become a bad word in our profession?  Last I checked, play therapy was a well researched intervention.  Stop letting other professionals bully you or make you feel less like a team member.  Take every opportunity to educate your peers, however, don’t stop using the word play.  Play is what makes us unique!

Hope to see you on Instagram!  Give me a follow @lilyandthetwinsofficial.