This year has demanded a lot of each of us. And we’ve all been finding our own ways to cope.
But despite the uncertainty, something profound has been happening on YouTube. People are coming together to support each other, and creators are doing what they do best: showing up for their communities. Whether it’s pausing to check in, find a moment of joy, reflect or simply express vulnerability, creators are sharing their expertise, stories, passions, and a little bit more of themselves. And these simple acts are making a difference.
For World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Week Australia and National Mental Health Month—we want to shine a light on our YouTube community, and creators who are sharing their stories, and helping others find ways to speak out, take care, and cope.
Thank you to the registered mental health organisations like Black Dog Institute, Project Rockit and headspace Australia on the platform for sharing your expert knowledge and resources with us. And thank you to the many other creators—from yoga instructors to musicians, from gardeners to gamers—for providing emotional support and a sense of connection just by opening up and talking about what you’re going through. You are all helping us take better care of ourselves and each other.
Turning to YouTube for Support and Comfort
Videos related to many practices associated with coping with anxiety and stress, including many hobbies, yoga and exercise, have seen increases in viewership this year.
Aussie creator Chloe Ting, was one channel offering locals in lockdown an outlet. Videos with ‘Chloe Ting’ or ‘Chloe Ting Challenge’ or ‘#chloetingchallenge’ in the title generated more than 140 million views globally since March 15, 2020. 1
Videos with prayer in the title are also among those seeing an increase in views—up 70 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the prior year.2 Prayer plays an important role in the lives of many, especially in handling stressful situations, and these videos may offer a feeling of solace. They also offer a way to continue participating in religious practices, and to maintain a routine during a time that is anything but routine.
Mental health exists on a spectrum from illness to wellness and, as such, impacts every single one of us. If you’re looking for ways to take care or you’re interested to hear how others are coping with different experiences, below are a few videos to explore. For more, check out our Mental Health Awareness Playlist.
Meet Sarah Chrisp
Kiwi entrepreneur Sarah aka Wholesale Ted usually shares advice on ecommerce with her 620k fans. This week saw a break in tradition though, when she posted this video on her struggle with anxiety, depression and burnout, and how she restored her sense of wellbeing, and balance.
He’s a trained medical doctor turned animator extraordinaire. This video breaks away from Maaz’s renowned comedic take on life events and stories, as he talks about the discrimination he faced growing up as Muslim Pakastani in Australia, and how he has learned to be comfortable in his own skin.
Meet Jason Stephenson
Average daily views of videos related to insomnia more than doubled after April 1 compared to the first quarter of the year,3 and in turn, average daily views of videos related to guided meditation with “sleep” in the title increased 25 percent in April, compared to March.4
So find a comfy seat, close down your eyes and take a moment. Jason has attracted almost two million fans to his channel, sharing weekly guided meditations, inspirational talks and affirmations to help you de-stress, find calm and get better sleep.
Meet Erin May Henry
Based in Melbourne, Erin has become a go-to for videos on positive self-talk. Tune in for videos like this one on self-care routines, healthy habits and life lessons that’ll help you feel motivated, and supported.
Meet Jamie Perkins
He shares honest stories about the ins and outs of being a dad to two young daughters. Jamie created his YouTube channel to provide fun, inspirational videos on his approach to life and raising little ones. In this video created for World Mental Health Day, he talks gratitude, and what helps him get through.
What creators are doing on YouTube is no small thing. Talking openly about coping matters. When creators promote healthy ways of coping and share adaptive skills and tips, they not only inspire us to try new strategies, but they also begin to chip away at the stigma associated with talking about and taking care of our mental health. And when stigma is reduced, we’re more likely to reach out and ask for the additional help we may need.
If you're looking for support or want to talk, help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in Australia and New Zealand:
Lifeline Australia | 13 11 14
Kids Helpline | 1800 55 1800
Beyond Blue | 1300 22 4636
Lifeline New Zealand | 0800 54 33 54
Youthline New Zealand | 0800 376 633
For research-informed mental health resources and free support tools, check out Black Dog Institute.
1 YouTube data, Global, 15 March 2020 - 5 July 2020
2 YouTube data, Global, jan - Mar 2019, Jan - Mar 2020
3 YouTube data, Global, January - April 2020
4 YouTube data, Global, March - April 2020