The National Institute of Mental Health reports that about one in five adults in the U.S. are living with some type of mental illness. That’s about 46.6 million people, and it doesn’t take into account the prevalence of mental disorders of adolescents. Common treatments range from therapy sessions to medication, but a sense of community, both online and offline, is also invaluable.
Mental health influencers are people who use their social media platforms to raise awareness of issues such as depression and anxiety. They also know how to offer some advice and comfort to those in need. From psychologists to advocates, here’s a list of mental health influencers you can find on Instagram.
Nedra Glover Tawwab
Therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab uses her Instagram account, nedratawwab, to connect with an audience of 249K followers. She sees Instagram as a space for individuals to develop a better grasp of mental health issues and learn how to reach out to professionals. She’s the founder of Kaleidoscope Counseling, which provides in-person and online therapy for North Carolinians. Both her personal Instagram account and the business’ are filled with advice on how to embrace healthier mental habits.
Dr. Mariel Buquè
Mariel Buquè is another therapist who shares mental health advice on Instagram. However, she makes it clear that her posts are no substitute for actually visiting a local therapist and receiving personalized care. She believes that social media can help destigmatize the idea of therapy, especially when it comes to minority communities. Her Instagram account, marielbuque, has more than 41.4K followers.
Some mental health influencers use their art to shed light on heavy issues. Artist Hannah Daisy has an Instagram account filled with colorful creations that focus on topics like self-care, intrusive thoughts and anxiety. She’s also an advocate for the LGBTQ community, and much of her content calls attention to the community’s struggles. Her account, makedaisychains, has more than 116K followers.
Like Daisy, Beth Evans is an influencer who uses her art to address mental health in a relatable way. She has more of a minimalistic style, but that doesn’t diminish the impact of her creations. She’s the illustrator behind numerous works, including, “I Guess I’ll Write It Down” and “I Can’t Wait to Cancel This.” Her Instagram account, bethdrawsthings, has more than 315K followers.
Research professor Brene Brown is an expert on shame, vulnerability and courage, so she has advice that can steer you toward improved mental health. She is known for her numerous bestselling books, including “Braving the Wilderness,” “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Dare to Lead.” She’s just as compelling on the stage as she is in her books. Her Ted Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” has more than 41 million views. It’s no surprise that she has an audience of 2 million followers on Instagram.
Author Claire Eastham is a British blogger and author who writes about social anxiety. She has a candid voice and uses her Instagram account, allmadhereuk_, to address her 19K followers and promote her 2016 book, “We’re All Mad Here.” Eastman also works as an ambassador for MQ, a mental health research charity that’s based in the United Kingdom.
Natasha Tracy is a mental health writer who addresses bipolar disorder in her 2016 book, “Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.” Tracy’s willingness to share her experiences isn’t limited to the book. She uses her Instagram account, natasha_tracy_writer, to share informative tips and inspirational quotes. She has more than 1,600 followers on Instagram. She tends to be more active on Twitter, where she posts as natasha_tracy and has amassed more than 34K followers.
Dr. Jessica Clemons
Jessica Clemons is a New York psychiatrist who runs the Instagram account askdrjess. She uses her account to promote #BeWell events that center on mental health discussions. Many of these conversations involve famous figures such as musical artist Tobe Nwigwe and radio host Charlamagne tha God. Her more than 66K followers also get a peek into her personal life and are treated to the occasional inspirational and empowering post.
Some mental health influencers are actually experts in other niches. For example, Hayet Rida is a fashion influencer, but she chooses to share her mental health struggles with her more than 69K followers. Similarly, Bradley Martyn, a fitness influencer with more than 3 million followers, has used his Instagram account to open up about his battles with anxiety.
By stepping outside of their fields and talking candidly about mental health, influencers use their platforms to raise awareness about relatable human struggles. In addition, an influencer who is willing to be vulnerable can form a more authentic connection with their audience. If your brand centers on mental health issues, look for influencers who can speak knowledgeably and honestly about their own experiences.