BTS is known for advocating mental health. They write about mental health in their lyrics, and have launched a campaign in partnership with UNICEF called Love Myself. The Love Myself campaign aims to relay the meaning of truly loving oneself. BTS also supports the #ENDViolence campaign, which aims to make sure that children and teens from around the world live in a violence-free environment.
It is one of the main reasons why ARMYs support this seven-member boy band. BTS’ songs, as well as their campaigns, inspired a lot of people all over the world to love themselves. Their music not only saved a lot of lives, but also inspired them to help other people through similar projects. One of these projects is the BTS Army Help Centre, also known as the BTS AHC, with a motto to spread love and positivity among people.
BTS AHC is very accommodating and allowed us to interview them about their team, project, and future goals:
When was the AHC established? When was the idea created, and when did it become public?
AHC was established in February 2018. Since we didn’t expect this to grow as big as it is now, it was public almost immediately.
How was the BTS AHC team formed?
At first the team started with 10 volunteers, each of them speaking a different language. AHC grew very fast though and soon more and more volunteers got hired. We now have 15 accounts focusing on different (language)regions and a main account and over 300 volunteers with various job-descriptions, everything being 100% voluntary.
What inspired you to create the Army Help Centre?
Army Help Centre was created by Aiisha (@btsfamlove) after she noticed a lot of stressed ARMY on twitter in the voting season. Her idea took flight and since then a lot of volunteers have been added to the team who have made AHC what it is today.
What are your goals?
Our goals with AHC are
- To create a safe place for ARMY to come to and speak their mind. A lot of people just need someone to listen to them, a place they can go to and cry, yell, vent and rant. We hope to provide this to ARMY. Even though our team has psychologists, counselors and students in these fields, we are not a (replacement for a) therapist or general health care practitioner. We will always them to seek out professional help if the situation calls for it, meaning: if we feel like they need more help than we can offer. We do understand that this a hard step to take, so hopefully we can lower that barrier. Of course not everyone who comes to us needs therapy, most of them just want to be heard.
- To Spread Love and Positivity by providing motivational quotes on AHC social media.
- To get our name out there so that more ARMY know of our existence and can contact us if they feel the need to.
Tell us more about the Spread Love Positivity Foundation.
The Spread Love Positivity Foundation is the mother organization of AHC even though it was created later than AHC. We do not want to infringe on any copyrights there may be (for example the name ARMY) so we therefore choose to go with a name that summarizes our main goal.
The Spread Love Positivity Foundation is created to raise funds and support those in need of mental health care. We will also have campaigns that highlight the beautiful things in life and the humanity in this ever changing society. We are still laying the groundwork for this foundation as we believe you have to go about things the right way.
Aside from the Army Help Centre, what are the projects that Spread Love Positivity Foundation has?
The Spread Love Positivity Foundation is currently speaking with several other mental health organizations across the globe to create a network in which we can hopefully play a role. At this moment we are focusing mainly on AHC and on creating this network.
How do you handle conflicts between your team?
Our organization consists of a large group of volunteers. Where we started out with just 10 volunteers, we have now over 300 people who are affiliated with SLP and/or AHC.
We are always trying to improve the internal structure of our organization and make it more efficient and business-like. Even though there have been some disagreements within the group, we try to talk things through with each other.
How did ARMYs react to your account?
We mostly had positive reactions to our account. We have heard on several occasions that we literally saved lives by just being there for them and that makes all the hard work we pour into it worth it.
Are there non-ARMYs who gave feedback?
Yes. We have discussed AHC with managers, teachers, psychologists, writers and other mental health organizations / mental health advocates. Overall they are very intrigued and positive about AHC. There is always room for improvement though and we are open to constructive feedback.
How do you guys feel whenever people reach out to you for help? And when people give you feedback?
We are very proud of the people who manage to take the step to reach out to us. We understand that asking for help or support is not easy and we are in fact strangers to them so we feel honored that they put their trust in us.
We understand that we have room to grow so when someone gives us constructive feedback we will always listen. It’s up to us if we decide to do something with it but we are thankful that people take the time and effort to help us grow.
We are very proud of all the positive feedback we have gotten up until now. Whether it be in the media (we’ve been mentioned in weblogs, magazines, on the radio, books and by TV shows) or when someone just lets us know that they appreciate us, it always humbles us and makes us proud at the same time.
What are the future projects that we should look out for?
We are mainly focusing on making AHC the best that it can be at this moment. This means that we are working very hard to create a solid organization with business-like internal structure. That also means branching out to other social media like Instagram and Facebook.
What do you want to tell ARMYs?
You are not alone. It’s okay to sometimes not be okay and if you need someone to talk to, we are here for you. You are stronger than you think.
Interview by: Euni 🌞