I don’t think any of us thought COVID-19 was going to last this long. No one could have predicted months ago that we would still be in quarantine. For many, being in isolation with little or no support has caused an increase in anxiety and stress. Almost half of Americans have expressed a major impact on their mental health during this time, which isn’t so surprising. We’re turning to our phones, only to find an endless blast of negative (and somewhat scary) news.
While turning off our devices can give us a momentary reprieve from the barrage of news updates, there is a golden corner of social media where positivity and comfort thrive called #MentalHealthAwareness. The helpful content living under this hashtag is full of tips, techniques, and support. It blew up in May when the popular video-sharing app, TikTok honored Mental Health Awareness Month by sharing advice from advocates. Since then, some great professionals have continued to post videos in an effort to open up an unbiased conversation, and console those in need.
Looking for a little inspiration ourselves, we’ve rounded up 8 impactful mental health TikTokers who remind us that it’s okay not to be okay. In fact, these advocates prove just how normal (and not alone) we all are.
Micheline Maalouf, LMHC
Licensed therapist, Micheline Maalouf decided to bring her Florida-based private practice to the masses when she started her account, which has since gained 290.2k followers. While she specializes in anxiety and complex trauma, she brings a bit of everything to her page. She speaks to people of all kinds by offering a different mental health topic each month. This past month, her content revolved around trauma relief.
Shani Tran, LPCC
Therapist Shani Tran’s mission is to make therapy a culturally-inclusive place. She has used social media to create a safe space for POC to feel empowered and welcomed. Many of the posts on her account focus on the experiences of black therapists and clients, ensuring that they feel heard.
Dr. Courtney Tracy, LCSW, PsyD
Dr. Courtney Tracy’s bio states “No-BS TikTok Therapist,” and that’s exactly what her page will bring you. Coined the “Truth Doctor,” she offers valuable answers to the questions we’re too afraid to ask. like how to reconnect with troubled children or manage anger. Her account is raw, real and completely approachable. It’s like the doctor’s office of our dreams.
Justin Puder, PhD
Justin Puder’s account offers a refreshing mix of jokes and serious advice. The psychologist, whom followers refer to as Dr. J,, speaks about mental illness in a humorous tone which helps destigmatize it. Dr J. brings a whole new meaning to therapy, and makes it feel a lot less intimidating. There’s no reason it has to be a negative experience!
Another TikToker that keeps it 100% real is Cori. The perfect mix of humorous Dr. J. and the no-BS Truth Doctor, Cori calls her followers out in the best way, and tells them exactly what they need to hear. What is the best part? She calls herself out, too! She bravely shares personal stories to make her followers feel less alone in their journeys. She creates content based on sensitive topics that need to be talked about—think trauma and toxic relationships.
Dr. Kojo Sarfo, DNP
Dr. Sarfo is a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner whose account speaks to anyone and everyone. He’s surely not afraid to have hard conversations. He covers unique topics like the mental toll of PMS for women and the importance of normalizing men’s mental health struggles. In a series of recent videos, he offers dozens of effective mood-boosting exercises. With his in-office skits in the mix, you’ll leave his page laughing and feeling relieved.
Dr. Julie Smith, Psychologist
One scroll through Dr. Julie Smith’s page will relieve you of anxious thoughts. Sound advice is paired with calming music, It’s no surprise her account has more than 1.0M followers. The talented psychologist talks her followers through exactly how they’re feeling, and even gives them tips for managing it. Her TikToks make you feel as if you’re talking to a loved one since she offers meaningful advice on things like anxiety and self-esteem.
Lindsay Fleming, LPC
Licensed therapist focusing on teens, Lindsay Fleming knows exactly what Gen Z needs. Using #heylinds, she encourages an honest, two-way conversation with her followers that feels like a true friendship. While her content speaks to a younger crowd, her account is for people of all ages. It can even help parents understand and relate to their children in a deeper way.