Approximately one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. The most common diagnosis is mixed anxiety and depression, and women in England are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders
Words by Olivia Spring
In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve put together a list of the best Instagram accounts to follow. These accounts celebrate the use of social media as a way to overcome any mental health challenges they face, raise awareness, and make people feel less alone.
Sacha Justine Cuddy (@thetremblingofaleaf)
Sacha is an 18 year old British Instagrammer who is using the platform to share her personal story as she recovers from anorexia. She has created an engaged following and hopes to inspire others to conquer their own challenges with food and mental health through sharing her own progress.
Luke Ambler (@ambler09)
Luke founded Andy’s Man Club (@ANDYSMANCLUBUK) after his brother-in-law Andy committed suicide. The group focuses on removing the stigma for men to talk about mental health with the aim of halving the rate of male suicide by 2012. Luke started the worldwide trend, #ItsOkayToTalk, when he posted a photo of himself making an ‘ok’ symbol with his hands on Instagram. Each Monday, men’s groups meet in locations all over the North East of England to discuss mental health issues in a safe and welcoming place.
Elyse Fox (@elyse.fox)
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Elysewas inspired to created Sad Girls Club (@sadgirlsclubpbg) after struggling with depression in her own life. Based in Brooklyn, the organisation aims to inspire millennials worldwide to have more conversations about mental health. In real life, Sad Girls Club meets weekly in different locations across New York City. They welcome teens of all backgrounds, especially teens of colour, to share their journeys with mental health and get the resources they need.
Megan Jayne Crabbe0 (@bodyposipanda)
After suffering from an eating disorder, Megan now uses Instagram to document and celebrate her recovery. She regularly posts pictures of her healthy body to encourage others to feel comfortable in their own skin, as well as flashbacks to when she was suffering from her eating disorder, to show others that recovery is possible.
Leyah Shanks (@iamleyahshanks)
Leyah is an activist and founder of the body confidence revolution. She was bullied from a young age and found herself disappointed by the images of beauty the media perpetuated, which inspired her to begin celebrating body diversity and put an end to body shaming.
Ashleigh Ponder (@Balancednotclean)
Ashleigh uses Instagram to document her recovery from an eating disorder, as well as emphasising a healthy, flexible and fun relationship with food.
Connie uses Instagram as a helpful tool in recovering from anorexia and sending a message about body positivity. She shares her heartfelt and honest journey with her followers, and her posts about learning to love her body have resonated with many young women.
Brian H Whittaker (@brianhwhittaker)
Brian is only 16 years old, but already has over a quarter million followers on Instagram. His Instagram following has grown excessively after being signed with Select model management, and he acknowledges the need to satisfy his followers, claiming they have helped him mentally. He’s spoken about not fitting in at school and loosing his confidence, which Instagram helped him battle by making friends and injecting positivity into his life. He has said he ‘really appreciates’ the positive comments he receives on Instagram, and regularly messages his followers.
Beckie Jane Brown (@BeckieJBrown)
Beckie battles depression and trichotillomania, where she is compelled to pull out all her hair. She uses Instagram to create more awareness for her disorder, and aims to bring hope to other sufferers around the world.