The media is abuzz with mental health issues and is making a strong imprint about normalising them. From highlights, to stories and full-fledged posts, there has been a strong effort to bring mental well-being to the forefront. However, the most striking trend has been the rise of influencers.
Before you start making connections between #ootd and #mentalwell-being, let’s establish that the influencers we are referring to are mental health professionals. That’s right! With a view to make services affordable, and reach out to those who need help, several of these professionals have taken to social media.
Even with awareness about mental health taking the centre-stage on media, cost remains a major issue for many. A vast majority are apprehensive about visiting therapists, because they find the sessions to be heavy on their pockets.
The idea of healing across social media platforms is therefore to make therapy accessible to people. While screens cannot make for complete therapy sessions, or overtly replace them, they’re a step in the right direction.
Instagram posts in particular catch the eye of many, and have a significant impact on the audience. Facebook is an app that offers counsellors and therapists to announce workshops, post articles on techniques for tackling with issues, which are a different take from the usual motivational quotes.
Hazel Gale, one such influencer and author of Amazon bestseller The Mind Monster Solution says, “It’s all about starting the conversation.” Having changed her career from a boxer to a qualified therapist, she explains how she experienced burnout due to over-training. And that’s how she started her therapy account, @hazel.gale.therapy.
“My head was in completely the wrong place,” she says. “I had eating disorders coming out of my ears, which is unfortunately a very common story for people in sports with weight categories. My body started to fail on me in many different ways.”
According to Standard, Gale hasn’t completely abandoned staying in touch with boxing. She still coaches at an amateur level, and you can see regular glimpses of her career in boxing on Instagram.
Gale also wants to change the common notion people have about therapy, what she refers to as an “old and stuffy model” of therapy. Social media gives an opportunity for being free and faceless, which encourages people to open up. This is in contrast with a session in a clinical room with a serious atmosphere. “Sharing what I’ve learnt makes me feel purposeful. If I get a couple of people responding and saying, ‘This has really helped’, that’s all the payment I need,” she adds.
Other accounts like @lisaoliveratherapy, @nedratawwab, @thefatsextherapist, and @the.holistic.psychologist advocate the need for therapy through social media. It seems that this trend is a revolution for the current media-clinging generation....