Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people in the UK each year. If this number seems high, it’s because people are often afraid to talk about their mental health for fear of the effect it will have on people’s treatment of them.
One group of people helping to change this is one of our absolute faves, vloggers. There are vlogs on literally everything these days but several high profile vloggers with thousands if not millions of subscribers are speaking up on mental health and encouraging us all to do the same.
Vloggers are more than just celebrities to their viewers, they’re friends. People feel a connection to vloggers through the way in which they directly address and interact with their viewers that you just don’t get from any other kind of celebrity. This makes them all the more powerful in influencing the way young fans think and act.
When high-profile vloggers talk about mental health they’re leading by example; showing their viewers that it’s okay to speak up and helping others struggling with their own mental health to feel less alone.
Here are some of our favourites.
“More often than not people dealing with a mental illness find it harder to deal with the stigma than they do with the illness itself, and that is crazy.”
JacksGap is run by identical twin brothers Jack and Finn and usually focuses on travel. But when Jack’s (we’re pretty sure it’s Jack…) friend approached him to talk about mental health it brought back memories of his own struggles with depression and how alone he felt at the time. So he decided to simply turn on the camera and talk. It’s completely honest and the message is simple- let’s talk about mental health.
“If this helps at least one of you watching this, just one of you, then it’s totally worth it.”
Zoella has been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks since she was 14 years old. Although she normally blogs about fashion, beauty and lifestyle, she’s always understood the value of talking about mental health. She says that people often assume that if someone is talking openly on camera to millions they must be 100% confident but actually that’s rarely the case.
Zoella has shared videos discussing her own anxiety as well as hosting a Q&A in which she encourages others to ask any questions they may have on anxiety and just to talk about it more openly.
“I love seeing others create videos sharing their experience and inspiring others.”
Sarah Hawkinson is psychology major who blogs on fashion, psychology and everything in between. She posts lots of awesome videos around mental health, drawing on her academic knowledge as well as her own personal experience with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
In the video above she talks not only about the importance of discussing mental health, but also responding in the right way, stopping people using phrases such as ‘oh, but you don’t seem depressed’ and explaining common misconceptions that people have about mental health.
“It’s a horrible existence to just constantly struggle, and the worst thing of all is doing it in silence”
Jonny Benjamin is probably best known for his ‘Find Mike’ campaign from 2014, which saw him make an online appeal to help find the stranger who had talked him down from a bridge where he planned to commit suicide. Jonny later found ‘Mike’ (actually called Neil) and was able to say thank you, and the pair continue to campaign to raise awareness today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_VMwA2-ejI
Jonny also vlogs on his mental health in a series of ‘Recoverlog’s which document his journey with schizoaffective disorder. They’re pretty difficult to watch at times but you won’t find a more honest, real account of what mental health struggles feel like anywhere.
“Don’t ever make a person feel like they are a problem or an inconvenience, make that person feel worthy”
Laura Lejeune often vlogs about her past experience with self-harm and makes videos discouraging others from doing so, masquerading as the kind of self-harm tip videos which she regularly (often successfully) campaigns to have removed from the internet.
Her videos are pretty fun and light despite their content and inject her own unique humour (largely cat-based) into serious issues, making mental health conversations both fun and educational.
“We’re a supportive community working together to end the stigma.”
Kati Morton is a licensed therapist who set up her YouTube channel as a, “safe place to talk about mental health” aiming to end stigma around therapy.
She talks about what therapy is like, what type of therapy (if any) different people should seek out and dishes out advice on everything from awkward situations to grieving.
Hopefully these awesome vloggers will help prove that mental health is something that should be as easy to talk about as any other type of illness, so let’s get talking.