Finding connection and support this World Mental Health Day
Oct 07, 2022 – minute read
YouTube has always been a place where people come to learn, ask questions and connect with others over shared experiences. That’s why mental health is a critical part of our work at YouTube Health — we want you to be able to find the information you need when you need it — whether it’s long-term coping strategies, immediate support in a crisis, educational content about a condition or just to know that you’re not alone.
Throughout my career as a clinical psychologist, I have prioritized identifying and creating accessible mental health content for clients as well as clinicians. As a university health psychologist, I learned the importance of meeting students where they were with mental health information – and the need to create easy-to-understand, engaging clinical content for this young population. As I evolved into workplace mental health in my role as YouTube’s Chief Mental Health Advisor, I focused on increasing awareness of resources, reducing stigma surrounding mental health, and addressing systemic factors to support employees.
I bring all of this with me in my new role as YouTube Health’s first Global Head of Mental Health, taking on the challenge of leading our efforts to help creators, clinicians, non-profit organizations, and the mental health community to make the most of our platform.
I’m excited to share that the Mental Health Coalition, Partnership to End Addiction and the National Eating Disorders Association are all launching new series and content formats for their YouTube channels
I’m excited to share that the Mental Health Coalition, Partnership to End Addiction and the National Eating Disorders Association are all launching new series and content formats for their YouTube channels, joining industry leaders like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, The Trevor Project, Psych Hub and the Child Mind Institute in using video to reach and connect with people at scale about important mental health topics.
The Mental Health Coalition will focus primarily on using YouTube Shorts to reach users with bite-sized psychoeducation. Partnership to End Addiction will focus on content to support families navigating topics from substance abuse prevention to treatment and recovery, and the National Eating Disorders Association will not only create expert content on disordered eating, but will also lean into helping folks share personal stories related to treatment and recovery. Working closely with the YouTube Health team, these organizations will build up a content library to help people living with mental health challenges, along with their families and loved ones, to better understand everything from signs and symptoms of various mental health issues to when to get help.
One of the most important protective factors in mental health outcomes is ensuring that people don’t feel isolated in their mental health journey. It’s critical that those struggling with their mental health can find stories of hope, connect with a community and hear from others who have walked in their shoes and found a way through difficult times.
That’s why we’ve focused extensively on mental health issues in our newly launched Personal Stories feature, which connects users searching for certain health topics with content from creators who share their personal experiences and stories about those topics. This feature can currently appear for users in the United States who search for topics related to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, bipolar disease, schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and we’re continuing to expand the mental health issues covered by this new product feature regularly.
Mental health is not static and it is not binary -- rather, it exists on a spectrum that ranges from mental illness to mental wellness, and we want to support people at many different spots along this journey. For those who are experiencing acute distress, we provide direct connection with crisis support resources that promote help-seeking behaviors through highly visible resource panels.
The need for mental health support is very clear, and we can’t solve our global mental health crisis with videos alone. But through YouTube, millions of people have shared their stories, found community, and truly felt seen and heard in their journey towards better mental health and well-being.
I’m excited about the opportunity we have to reduce the isolation and stigma that still go hand-in-hand with mental illness, as we work together to make a happier, healthier world for everyone.
Managing depression, anxiety and substance abuse can be lonely and isolating, whether you are experiencing these challenges yourself or supporting a loved one. You are not alone. If you or a loved one are struggling, there is help available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In the United States, you can get in touch with the Lifeline by calling 988 or using the web chat service. Calls and chats are free and confidential.
Outside the United States, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention to find a crisis center in your area.