9 YouTube Stars Who Are Major Mental Health Advocates
From must-download apps to help calm your anxiety to the innovative virtual reality depression treatment, mental health tech seems to be on the rise, thanks to the continued support from advocates in science and technology. But they aren’t the only ones who are keen to end mental health stigma through tech. Popular YouTubers, the Millennial’s celebrity, are now championing the cause on their mega-popular channels. With a combined audience of 26 million viewers, these nine YouTube stars are using their expansive platforms to raise awareness for mental health issues in the best possible way — by using their own personal struggles and triumphs to show their subscribers real faces of the often stigmatized disorders.
1. Zoella: With more subscribers than the entire population of Sweden, Zoe Sugg is on a mission to destigmatize anxiety, one daily vlog at a time. When she’s not playing with her adorable pug Nala or hanging out with her YouTube royalty boyfriend, Zoe is talking to her viewers about the daily struggles of anxiety and helping us all understand the condition a little more intimately.
2. Shane: Although you probably know Shane Dawson for his old-school Biebs haircut (which he has now sadly chopped off) and laugh-out-loud comedy sketches, he also frequently shares his personal experiences with body dysmorphia and depression in his vlogs. By offering his viewers an inside look into his own mental health journey — both the breakthroughs and the rough patches — he’s an excellent advocate for mental health to check out even if you don’t suffer from a disorder.
3. VlogBrothers: John Green, author of the tear-inducing The Fault in Our Stars and co-founder of the mega popular collab channel VlogBrothers, openly discusses his struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety with his two and a half million subscribers. Along with divulging his personal struggles, John speaks about the popular psychology of mental illness and tries to debunk some of the stigmas that plague mental health.
4. TomSka: Although popular comedian and cartoonist Thomas “TomSka” Ridgewell doesn’t really talk about his mental health diagnosis on his main channel, his second channel frequently divulges his battle with severe depression. With videos like a Non-Depressing Depression Video, he’s making the topic of mental health more approachable with his light-hearted charm and comedic banter.
5. BeckieO: Vlogging about her life with Trichotillomania, a mental disorder which often causes a person to repeatedly tear out their hair, Rebecca Brown is totally transparent about how mental illness affects her day-to-day life. Bringing attention to a mental illness that rarely receives media coverage, this vlog is a great tool for anyone looking to get a little more familiar with the condition.
6. LukeIsNotSexy: From his hilarious challenge videos and gaming sessions, you’d never guess that this crazy popular YouTuber would have depression — and that’s kind of the entire point. A champion of the mantra that “you never know what someone is dealing with,” Luke’s everyday look at fighting the negative attitudes toward mental health is definitely something to add to your queue.
7. Laura Lejeune: With her channel completely dedicated to mental health help and awareness, Laura Lejeune is the go-to authority for mental health on YouTube. Whether you’re looking for explanatory videos or personal stories of acceptance and achievement — like the dos and don’ts of tattooing over self-harm scars — this channel is sure to teach even the most knowledgeable mental health champion a thing or two.
8. Jouelzy: Jouelzy is a #smartbrowngirl who loves commenting on current cultural topics, including one that’s near and dear to her own heart. Clinically diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, Jouelzy shares her own experiences with mental illness and encourages her viewers to own their feelings, no matter how awkward or taboo it may feel to be candid at first.
9. CourtneyPants: With videos ranging from My Eating Disorder to Tricho-Tillo-What?!, Courtney is dramatically open about her struggles with mental illness, and her viewers couldn’t be more supportive (seriously, go check out some of the comments on her videos — her fans are the best!). If you’re looking for a day-in-the-life look at someone who struggles with a variety of mental illnesses, this just might be the channel for you.
Who is your favorite mental health YouTuber? Tweet us at @BritandCo.
(Featured photo via @zoella)