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5 Times YouTube Got Real About Mental Health

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With 1 billion users watching 6 million hours of video per month, YouTube is a powerful tool for sending a message. That’s why we’re giving a shout-out to five YouTube stars who’ve used their platforms to talk about mental health, spreading awareness and acceptance to their loyal followers and sending a message to help fight the stigma against those who experience mental illness.

1. Laci Green

Last week, sex education activist Laci Green opened up to more than a million of her subscribers about experiencing depression. She was diagnosed with depression at age 15 and has experienced about five or six depressive episodes. 

“I lot of peopel don’t understand it. There’s lot of stigma. People think you’re crazy, you’re a downer or they don’t know how to act around you,” she says in the video. “We need to talk about this stuff more. A lot of people struggle behind closed doors, including myself.”

2. TomSka

British comedian Thomas Ridgewell, who on YouTube goes by TomSka, appeared on “The 4:01 Show,” a channel with almost 25,000 subscribers, to talk about mental health. He talks about the difference between sadness and depression, explaining that depression for him was a lot of nothing.

“(Depression is) a lot of feeling nothing, caring about nothing, having no emotional connection to the things I used to love,” he said.

3. JacksGap

Finnegan Harries from JacksGap, an online travel blog and video project he runs with his brother Jack, took a break from the channel’s regular content to talk about something different in a video called,“Lets Talk about Mental Health.” It was inspired by a friend who opened up to him about depression. 

“Mental illness is a thing. It exists,” he says in the video. 

He also explains why he thinks it’s so hard to talk about mental illness: “A mental illness generally suggests that something is wrong with the brain. Our brain is our control center… and the idea of something being wrong with the brain generally suggests that we’re out of control. And as humans, we hate that idea. We hate it so much that we just don’t talk about it.”

4. Kati Morton

Kati Morton is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and her YouTube channel is all about mental health. With more than 62,000 subscribers, she covers topics ranging from bipolar disorder, self-harm and body image. In her most popular video, she talks about six signs of depression. “The sooner we get a hold on this the better,” she says in the video.

5. Zoella

Zoe Sugg is a fashion and beauty vlogger. Her YouTube channel, Zoella, has more than 8 million subscribers. In one video, with more than 3 million views, she opens up about dealing with panic attacks and anxiety, starting with dismissing the idea that because someone is comfortable in front of a camera they have no insecurities or problems.

“What a lot of you may not know, is that I have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks since I was 14,” she says in the video. “You are not the only person who feels this way.”

Originally published: July 24, 2015
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