I think it’s amazing how the conversation surrounding mental health has evolved over the past few years. Something that was once almost completely taboo is now is now, for want of a better word, ‘acceptable’ to talk about.
But while the world may be opening up to mental illness, that doesn’t always feel comforting when you’re struggling yourself. I’ve tried to be as open as possible on my blog about mental illness, but for the things I can’t or don’t cover, these people do. Here’s some of my favourite authors, bloggers and influencers keeping the mental health discussion alive.
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) July 26, 2018
Stephen Fry is, in my opinion, the original mental health influencer. The insight, level headedness and openness he supplies to the mental health discussion, plus his work with the charity MIND, really inspires me. But Stephen has only gained this through years of his own struggle. If you get a chance to watch his documentary on bipolar, or listen to any of his discussions about depression, then please do.
Mental health is health. The things that impact our mental health are health issues. Education is a health issue. Work is a health issue. Poverty is a health issue. The news is a health issue. Social media is a health issue. Consumer culture is a health issue.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) July 28, 2018
You may have heard of Matt’s best selling book, Reasons to Stay Alive, which explores his own experience with depression. I’ve recently finished his follow up book, Notes on a Nervous Planet, that examines why the modern world causes us so much anxiety. I loved it. As well as reading Matt’s books, I’d definitely recommend following him on Twitter for positive vibes and his mental health commentary. He’s a huge advocate of the ‘it’s OK not to be OK’ mindset.
I first encountered Bryony Gordon while working at Mumsnet, when I was tasked with reading her book, Mad Girl, ahead of a Facebook Live with the lady herself. Bryony has had OCD most of her life and has also been affected by depression, addiction and eating disorders. I love her openness and positivity. If you get a chance, listen to her incredible Mad World podcast. She’s interviewed the likes of Stephen Fry and Prince Harry about everything mental health.
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Important 🌈 [image description: a hand drawn illustration of a pack of yellow and turquoise pills. Above it says “took my medication as prescribed”. The background is pale striped pink. The illustration has a dark pink circular border. Around the border it says “boring self care”. ] #boringselfcare
Hannah runs the Instagram account @makedaisychains. Her hashtag, #boringselfcare is about the small, yet crucial things, we all need to remember about self-care, from eating to taking our medication. And they are crucial – it’s getting easier to discuss the idea of mental health, but it’s so important to focus on the little things that get us through. Hannah is also a passionate advocate of LGBT+ rights, and her illustrations are clever and relevant to modern living. Her quirky sketches will bring some positivity to your Instagram feed.
Look Mum, I’m on the underground! 😂 Received such positive feedback from the #PrioritySeatingWeek campaign. Kindness & patience truly helps those living with #mentalillness – cheers to the VERY patience man who took this pic! #SaturdayMorning #MentalHealthAwareness pic.twitter.com/nU5xmuCxow
— Claire Eastham (@ClaireyLove) April 28, 2018
We’re All Mad Here is one of the best mental health blogs I’ve encountered. Claire is not a well-known name or face like most of my top influencers, but that’s why I think her work is so important: mental illness affects all of us. Claire covers anxiety and depression on her blog in a number of ways, including advice for caregivers, while her own experiences with social anxiety formed the content for her first book, also titled We’re All Mad Here. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but after discovering her blog it’s definitely on my must-read list.
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It’s the last episode in series 1 of Happy Place and I’m overjoyed to tell you it’s with my darling mate @therealgokwan. We have chatted our way through the years of our close friendship but this conversation was the most honest and revealing yet. I so appreciate Goks willingness to tell his story so beautifully and eloquently. I hope you enjoy it. Also I’m already ploughing through series 2 which will be with you soon. I’ve been talking to some very interesting people!!! 😉 more info on that soon. In the meantime enjoy this episode on Spotify, Apple podcasts or wherever you get yours 🌈💋
I’m sure you know Fearne, though you may not be as familiar with her Happy Place podcast. Fearne has opened up over the past few years about her struggles with anxiety and depression in her 20s, and in her new(ish) podcast she chats to celebrity pals such as Gok Wan, Paloma Faith, and -fellow mental health influencers- Stephen Fry and Matt Haig. This podcast is less about discussing specific mental health issues and more about how to keep sane and survive the world of work and adulthood. Fearne is also one of my style inspirations so definitely follow her, even if you don’t fancy the podcast.
Who are your favourite mental health influencers? I’d love to read about them in the comments below.
Let’s keep the conversation going – it really does save lives,