CULTURE

Celebrate Mental Health Month With These 5 YouTubers

Digital Arts / Artwork by Sharmelan Murugiah

May 2019's theme is #4Mind4Body, highlighting the importance of social connections and humor.

Do you sometimes feel "ghostly?"

Joey Kidney uses the term on his YouTube channel to describe an anxiety attack; he says it's like "wearing noise-canceling headphones in a crowded room." Another YouTuber named Chloe elaborates that panicked feeling of dissociation on her channel, DisasociaDID. As an individual diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, she dedicates her videos to "debunking DID" and explaining how the brain protects itself from anxiety and trauma.

Even though the Internet is a hellish landscape of Twitter feuds and dumb criminals from Florida, it's also filled with outspoken advocates for mental health awareness. According to Mental Health America, 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. The organization has been dedicating the month of May to spreading mental health awareness since 1949. They write on their website: "In 2019 we are expanding upon last year's theme of #4Mind4Body and taking it to the next level, as we explore the topics of animal companionship (including pets and support animals), spirituality, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness."

In honor of this month's #4Mind4Body theme and its recognition of social connections as a way to improve wellness, spare a moment to peruse one of these five YouTube channels that discuss mental health.

DissociaDID

The 22-year-old creator of the channel, Chloe, is one of two dozen "alters," or alternate personalities, who make up her DissociaDID "system." How far-fetched that sounds depends on how familiar you are with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). To most people, it's a bizarre concept that gets relegated to fantasy films like Glass and Split: damaging and ill-informed depictions that inspired Chloe to begin her channel.

But you don't have to possess any prior knowledge of or experience with DID to relate to her many videos discussing anxiety, trauma, and dissociation: three experiences that every brain is prone to when it's overwhelmed. Her overall message: your mind is built to protect you, so even when it's putting your body through stress, it's not your fault.

Beginners Guide To GROUNDING | Help For Anxiety, Depression, Dissociation, Hallucinations?! youtu.be

Jessica Kellgren-Fozard

As a young woman with two rare genetic disorders–Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP)–Jessica is somewhat of a medical anomaly. Many of her videos recount how she baffled doctors for much of her life, as her health conditions caused her to become deaf, lose feeling in one half of her face, lose the ability to digest food and paralyze both of her arms for over a year. Yet, the British television host has one of the most cheerful and upbeat presences on the Internet.

Kellgren-Fozard is also a proud LGTBQ+ activist and happily devoted to her wife, Claudia. Additionally, her personal style is distinctly vintage and comprised of exclusively 1940s/1950s clothing. Her relentless optimism is actually grounded in her history of seemingly hopeless physical and mental health crises, so even the worst cynic finds her advice hard to dismiss.

An honest chat about mental health with Rowan Ellis [CC] youtu.be

Megan Batoon

From a dancer/choreographer to a popular online personality, Batoon is part-vlogger, part-entertainer, all 20-something-year-old making mistakes. In particular, she speaks to millennials' experiences with toxic social media and burnout. Spreading her advice for self-care with enough awareness to poke fun at herself, Batoon earned her one million followers by being very articulate about why young adulthood is so awkward.

How to Embrace Self-Love | The No B.S. Q&A | MeganBatoon youtu.be

Joey Kidney

The 21-year-old's channel has evolved from callow content like "10 Signs a Guy Doesn't Like You" to raw videos about depression and anxiety. His popular video "i filmed my anxiety attacks for a week" prompted follow-ups like "What Living With Depression Is Really Like" and "I Don't Want to Be Sad Anymore." While some people may find his channel to skew painfully young and superficial, he captures the reality of countless young men who struggle with depression and anxiety but feel too self-conscious to speak about it.

I filmed my anxiety attacks one year later youtu.be

Stevie

Stevie Boebi is "the creator and host of the first ever Lesbian sex ed video series for some reason." With self-effacing humor and relentless wit, Stevie's channel originally focused on queer sex advice and general LGBTQ+ activism. However, her frank no-bullshit style also extends to mental health advice about anxiety and coping with chronic illness (she's actually diagnosed with POTS, the same illness as Jessica Kellgren-Fozard; their friendship is documented on both their channels, which is adorable).

Stevie uses her channel to spread sex positivity, but she also destigmatizes the shame, trauma, and anxiety that are associated with all marginalized experiences.

HOW TO CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS [LSE-Episode 15] youtu.be



Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


POP⚡DUST | Read More...

The Fetishization of"Space Jam": How Lola Bunny Shaped a Generation

Has "Game Of Thrones" Lost Its Ability to Write Female Characters?

Why Series Finales Hurt: When Your Favorite TV Shows Break Up With You

Related Articles