The Mental Health Foundation launched the event 21 years ago and has continued to take place yearly, each year focussing on a different theme. The theme for this year is nature, so those who want to focus on improving their mental health and have more conversations on the topic are encouraged to notice nature, connect to nature everyday. The Mental Health Foundation said: “Stop to listen to the birdsong, smell the freshly cut grass, take care of a house plant, notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby. Take a moment to appreciate these connections.”
Social media presents the perfect platform for anyone to get involved with #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. Although the event is primarily focussed on the UK, the ability to use and share hashtags online means that anyone from across the globe can tune into your social posts and engage in your discussions on mental health.
Those who use Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok can share images, videos, or text posts sharing advice on how to deal with mental health issues and discuss their stories with the intention of destigmatising mental illness and developing support systems, online and in person.
Who should you be following?
Over the past year, in particular, we have seen a real increase in influencers and content creators opening up about their mental health online, sharing authentic content that their audiences can relate to. There are many creators across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube who are positive influencers to follow if you want to focus on your mental health, during Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond…
Katie Piper is an author, broadcaster, and mother with over one million followers on Instagram who are captivated by her raw and honest content. Since enduring a trauma in 2008 which led Katie to receive severe acid burns, the years to follow have seen her learn to deal with this tragedy and learn to love herself again, speaking openly about her highs and lows. Katie uses the platform she has built to learn about the stories of others who have faced hardships in their lives, advocating that her audience shouldn’t let negative thoughts and experiences define them.
Jenny, who is behind the YouTube channel and blog ‘Wear I Live’ shares feel-good videos that are comforting and relatable for her viewers to watch. Jenny’s videos are calming and genuine, covering topics such as self-care tips, honest mental health chats, and how to practice mindfulness.
Dr Alex George
Earlier in the year, the news broke that doctor and ex-Love Island star Alex George has been appointed by the UK government as youth mental health ambassador. Since his new appointment in February, Alex has continued to be vocal about the importance of taking care of your mental health. Alex provides advice to his audience from both a professional and personal perspective, approaching the topic of mental health with both urgency and sensitivity.
Doctor of Psychology, Julie Smith, has risen to fame on TikTok over the recent months gaining over two million followers on her account which focuses on educating her viewers on mental health from a professional’s perspective. Dr Julie’s videos are extremely engaging as they are quick to consume, educational, and follow the trends we see on TikTok like transitions and popular audio.
These content creators and influencers are by no means the only ones out there who are shedding the light on mental health on their platforms, but they represent the multitude of creators out there who are creating a positive space for their audiences. We would love to hear more about the people you follow who spread awareness about mental health, and champion hope and optimism online. Join our #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek discussion over on LinkedIn.