In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re celebrating all the ways you’ve been there for your community, from building connections to encouraging us all to take better care of each other.
Everyone has moments where they struggle with their mental health, and it can be challenging to talk about. Knowing how to start is a great first step, and that’s why we’ve partnered with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to offer helpful tips about discussing mental health with your community.
Speak from personal experience
The way you share your story is just as important as the experience itself. Like our physical health, everyone’s mental health situation is unique. If you’re not careful, your approach can be harmful or triggering for some of your audience.
Here are some storytelling best practices you can follow to make sure you’re sharing your experience responsibly:
- Use phrases like “This works for me, personally” to make it clear that you’re not sharing evidence-based information
- Emphasize your journey rather than the pain — share struggles, triumphs, and how you manage your mental health today
- Send the message that help is always available and share reputable resources like the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) — open Mon-Fri from 10 am to 10 pm ET or if you are in crisis, text “NAMI” to 741-741 — available 24/7
Collaborate with experts
Working directly with mental health professionals and nonprofits can help you share safe, credible content, and can be reliable sources for your viewers in need. Get creative with the ways you collaborate with a licensed expert, like engaging your audience in a live Q&A.
Mental health is a spectrum that uniquely impacts us all. Normalizing what someone’s going through can make them feel less alone, and more likely to reach out for help.
From the phrases you use to the narratives you spotlight, your voice can make a difference. Consider using the guide YouTube created in partnership with NAMI of inclusive language to show your audience you’re listening:
- Empathize with their experience with phrases like, “What you’re going through is challenging”
- Acknowledge mental health issues do not define a person by saying phrases like, “My brother living with OCD” rather than “My OCD brother”
- Avoid problematic slang by saying “I like things done in a particular way” instead of “I am so OCD about this kind of stuff”.
Maximize the impact of your content
Psychologist Dr. Ali Mattu of The Psych Show shares his expert advice for creating empowering and entertaining mental health videos. Try using his pro-tips on your next video:
- Combine mental health with video elements your audience already loves
- Share your own story
- Take the time to heal, and only share when you’re ready
Talking openly about what you’re going through not only inspires us all to be better supporters, but it also helps lessen the stigma associated with mental health issues. Join other creators in using your voice to spread awareness and create deeper connections with people who love you.
Managing depression, anxiety and substance abuse can be lonely and isolating, whether you are experiencing these challenges yourself or supporting a loved one. If you or a loved one are struggling, help is always available:
NAMI HelpLine: Volunteers are working to answer questions, offer support, and provide practical next steps. Call 800-950-6264 Mon-Fri 10 am – 10 pm EST or email [email protected] or visit NAMI.org and access CHAT. In a crisis? Text “NAMI” to 741741.
The Lifeline: In the United States, connect with someone 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or using the web chat service. Calls and chats are free and confidential.