8 Mental Health Warriors Who Have Taken Social Media By Storm
William Shakespeare wrote and I quote “Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man”. Coupling the growing mental health awareness with this generation’s obsession with social media, we bring to you a host of social media influencers who took recourse to literature, art, writing, videos and colours to offer an emotional first aid to our healing.
They have set out on a mission to take the dialogue forward and shatter the silence around it. Their posts and their conversations dig deep and resonate with our hearts.
Choosing the go-to forums was a task in itself, but here’s to trying and here’s a shout-out to some of social media’s favourite accounts focused on mental health.
1. The Artidote: *BREATHE*
Instagram strength : 829k Artidotees
Curator Jovanny Varela Ferreyra through his page ‘Artidote’ (Art + Antidote) has made the internet a more positive space. Spanning over 4 years, their visual art and text pieces are a simple and deep reminder of reassurance to your innermost fears. They reflect that side of an individual which s/he loses in the hustle bustle of life or hides under the veil of social stigma. *BREATHE*, “Come What May” and “Mental Health Over Every Damn Thing” is the mantra voiced by this community.
Going beyond the trailblazing use of Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, Jova also engages with people on a one-on-one basis through ‘Artidote Meetups’ in multiple cities.
2. Berlin ArtParasite: “How art you today?”
Facebook strength: 3.25 million Artparasites
Started in 2011, this page’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable for the bone deep security it offers. Berlin ArtParasite is a sheer pedlar of hope and is a safe house to millions with life aches to connect over and via art. The reflective and elicit language that they communicate has gained them a loyal fan base of over 3 million. Their posts are bound to make one feel like a rose even in the driest of deserts.
3. Jay Shetty – The ‘Urban Monk’ Who Is Making Wisdom Go Viral
Facebook virals: 21 million
Instagram: 3.2 million
If you’ve ever seen one of Shetty’s videos you would agree that he is one of the most articulate and handsome monks that the contemporary world has. The grey eyed British Indian is a master of soul tugging and inspirational storytelling. The man is a graduate in behavioural science, an award-winning host, film maker, viral content creator and a former monk.
He is blessed with wisdom beyond comparison and there’s a certain sort of comfort, affirmation, charm and depth that connects you deeper to/with him. The way he delivers his wisdom is mesmerising and each of his videos will leave you with simple answers and equal number of complex questions. Post 2016, Jay’s videos have over a whooping 4 billion views with 20 million followers.
Shetty is called to speak by some of the top corporate giants including Google, Facebook, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Deloitte, among others. He also boasts of being an ‘alumnus’ of Forbes 30 Under 30, Class of 2017.
All in all, Russel Brand defines Jay Shetty the best, “Eyes of a Bengali tiger and mind of a sage.”
4. Humans of New York: One Story at A Time
18 million on Facebook, over 9 million on Instagram and 31 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, Brandon Stanton ‘photographic census’ is a legendary internet success and has resonated far beyond New Yorkers. The tranquil that descends on you after going through the portraits, write-ups and quotations are unparallel. This page listens to as many people as possible without judgement and very skilfully renders it into a spectrum of experiences which brings life to all that is locked within.
At Humans of New York, ‘Everyone has a story to tell’, all nameless people though! All stories will validate that someone, just someone across the shore, is in the same boat. Doesn’t that idea of company make the ride, just a little a less bumpy!
On his visit to India in 2018, he shared some heart warming pictures which added to his pic-tory kaleidoscope and inspired indigenous pages like Humans of Bombay.
5. Jameela Jamil’s i_weigh: Making internet ‘The Good Place’ over body positivism
i_weigh weighs 701k on Instagram
Actor and activist Jameela’s presence and eloquence over ‘unwitting double standards for the patriarchy’ and the blinded pursuit of Victoria’s secret for perfect cosmetic aesthetic is just undeniable. She is a vehement critic of the impossible and unnatural ‘hollydified’ beauty standards. ”I like myself in spite of everything I’ve been taught by the media to hate about myself” is ‘The Good Place’ actress’s decree. The 33-year-old is a warrior on a mission with her weaponised Instagram posts on i_weih to call out the artifice of contoured body-centric culture. “I think it’s insane if you’re okay with being airbrushed. We’ve been conned into thinking it’s a good thing to be made to look better than we actually do. It’s a direct insult. “You don’t look good enough as you are, so we’re gonna fix you” says Jamil.
Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank you, next’ is her reply to unhealthy body ideals propagated by few celebs (*whispers* ’Kardashians and Jenners’)
i_weigh posts unedited and unphotoshopped pictures of women irrespective of their age, profession, ethnicity and most importantly ‘kilos’ to promote that women community is so much more than airbrushed pictures and the weight scale. “Being okay with yourself is the most amazing middle finger to everyone” is the boss lady’s slogan.
6. Jim Kwik: The New Age Memory Coach
Jim Kwik’s Instagram is 495k strong.
“If knowledge is power, learning is your superpower”
Once known as ‘the boy with a broken brain’, Kwik’s ‘SuperheroYou’ program is now one of the foremost authorities in the world in the subject of accelerated learning and mental performance. He is highly sought after for his niche ability to combine the latest of neuroscience and simple techniques to improve reading and retention quotient.
His sessions have done the trick of transforming millions into thinking big. Jim Kwik’s brain health curriculum is popular with some top performers of Hollywood, business people and many high-profile celebrities. The likes of Singularity, Fox Studios, Space X, Nike, Richard Branson And Elon Musk make his client list.
7. Prince EA: The new royalty among spoken word artists
Prince of 13.7 million followers on Facebook and 1.9 million on Instagram.
Richard Williams aka Prince EA in the new world-wide sensation battering the judgements attached to skin tone. He wishes to show ‘the planet that at our core we are love, we are free and we are one’. Through his short-spoken word poetry and hard-hitting punch lines he has left millions inspired. To quote “This attitude of service, or disappearing into my work, is the single most important variable in giving me both internal and external success.” The assumed name ‘Prince Ea’ is derived from Sumerian culture (“The prince of the Earth”). The state of music industry had left him upset which made him start a movement called Make SMART Cool, to promote inclusivity and solidarity in the global community.
8. Sandeep Maheshwari: The Unstoppable
Maheshwari is a master observer and a better motivator. His live sessions and videos will make you share a rare intimacy with his thoughts. His words are plain, straightforward and effective rather than high concept, which has made his fan base so fervent in the Indian subcontinent. His motivational speeches have enlivened human minds and encouraged many crest-fallen youth to start afresh, because ‘Zindagi Aasan Hai’ (Life is easy). The local boy from Delhi has the unique ability of carving the most elementary aspects of daily life into a seemingly motivational narrative.
Every once in while we find ourselves musing and chewing over our state of mind or mental health and we know that for the next few weeks (at least), these emotions & situations, like enigma would be stewing within. It’s time to start healing through art, literature and professional help.
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