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9 Indian and global mental health influencers who will help you manage your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.
Much has been said about social media and its correlation to mental health. While most people agree that social media is detrimental to one’s mental health, it is also undisputed that social media is here to stay and we can only change the way we handle social media on a daily basis.
As Mumbai based Clinical Psychologist Sonali Gupta says, “We all need to figure out a way to develop a relationship with social media that allows us to manage it better”.
Instagram has come a long way from its early goals of connecting people through images. While it has been argued that Instagram is the worst social media in regards to mental health, it also provides a platform for many mental health professionals who can guide you to a better mental health. If used right IG can guide you in handling your complex emotions in a healthy manner.
Following are some of the best mental health pages/accounts on Instagram:
The Alternative Story is one of the best mental health organisations in the country. They pride themselves on being the intersectional feminist organisation that pioneered the pay-what-you-want model for therapy in India.
They have a great collection of resources like a list of training therapists willing to conduct therapy for free and professional therapists with nominal charges. They also have other initiatives like group therapy, webinars, live sessions all targeted towards mental health development.
You can also connect with them on Facebook, their website and their very own podcast, discussing important and relevant issues on Spotify for free.
MindPeers is another great organisation that provides you with great tools like affordable therapy, anonymous letters to vent out your problems, sessions with mind coach and helpful Instagram posts and stories handling micro-topics.
They call themselves ‘India’s first Mental Health GYM’ and it’s a GYM you will actually enjoy. Their lockdown playlist on Spotify has been my saviour these past few months.
This global Instagram influencer Bunny Michael was one of the first mental health pages that helped me in understanding the underlying reasoning behind my conflicting emotions.
Her ingenious and artistic concept of self and higher self makes complex emotions appear simpler.
An organisation that helps recognise mental health from an Indian context.
They include anecdotes from Indian cinema, Our cultural narrative, and Q&A with a certified therapist. Their blog contains many articles relating to mental health during pandemic and the guilt surrounding the recent crises.
A first of its kind mental health initiative designed by and for Bahujans that addresses the traumas arising from Bahujan identity. They describe themselves as ‘a safe place for collective healing through social justice lenses’. They connect marginalised people to affordable and accessible mental health service. They organise workshops, webinars for marginalised communities, activists, social workers and students in India.
They also organise training programmes for Bahujan mental health professionals. You can reach them through their website or their blog The Blue Dawn Writes or their Whatsapp group for people dealing with mental illness. If you are facing systematic oppression in any environment and need affordable or free mental health service, they have many resources for you.
Oftentimes as we scroll through our Instagram feed, we tend to lose our grip on reality. The glittering life of social media makes us question everything about our own lives.
This page is meant to break that chain of thought. It has some quick and digestible tips in simple format that forces a reality check in between the incessant stimulation of social media. Canadian Certified Therapist and PhD scholar Sara Kuburic does Insta lives and videos dedicated to micro topics like dealing with arguments, healthy boundaries etc along with Q&A sessions.
Mumbai based author, writer and Clinical Psychologist Sonali Gupta has 16 years of experience in counselling therapy. Her Instagram, twitter as well as her Youtube channel are great resources to understand mental health from an Indian context.
Her You Tube channel also discusses many illnesses like anxiety and depression in Hindi for larger accessibility. Her twitter threads also frequently discuss mental health topics.
Check out our conversation with Sonali Gupta on the occasion of her book launch.
Another certified therapist turned writer/mental health influencer. Her simple and digestible tips remind you to prioritise your mental health.
Her advices are generally contradictory to the trends on social media about productivity and self-care that will help you to re-evaluate your journey of self development.
This certified therapist turned writer/influencer has been featured in The New York Times and The Cosmopolitan for her therapy IG account. Her page as the name suggests is a collection of small notes about mental health and trauma.
These small notes are generally centred around childhood traumas, relationships and anxiety. These are especially beneficial for parents.
All of the above mentioned accounts are LGBTQIA+ friendly. These accounts will help you in understanding general concepts and beliefs but they cannot replace your treatment. Your therapy is unique to your scenarios and a generalised approach will not help you. Mental illness is a serious issue, which needs personalised attention; do not try to treat yourself through the internet. Like everywhere else on the internet make sure to protect your privacy and do not reveal any sensitive information online.
Author’s note and disclaimer: These are in no way or form a replacement for professional help and therapy. These are only tools to understand your emotions better. Visit your mental health professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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Asefa Hafeez is a content writer by profession. You can get in touch with her
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