At TikTok, we want our community to feel empowered to express themselves authentically and feel safe speaking frankly about different life experiences or challenges. Mental Health Awareness Month is observed each May in the US, and this year we're focused on helping people find community, share their stories, hear from experts, and connect to well-being resources and information. Throughout the month, we'll have a range of TikTok LIVE programming and community spotlights featuring creators and organizations that help raise awareness and de-stigmatize mental health conversations.
Encouraging supportive conversations
Fostering a welcoming, inclusive environment is at the heart of everything we do. Hashtags are an easy way for people to find common interests and experiences. Whether you're someone who has a story to share or you're looking for your mental health community, there are several ways to connect through hashtags, including:
- #MentalHealthAwareness - Explore this month's hashtag to find content around mental health, personal stories, and how to be there for loved ones who may need help.
- #SelfCare - Here you'll find soothing videos as well as tips and tricks people use to relax and prioritize well-being.
- #LetsTalkMentalHealth - Through this hashtag people are sharing their personal stories about mental health to help others who might be going through similar experiences.
Spotlighting groundbreaking creators
We celebrate the people who are able to be candid about their path to better mental health. From open discussions around depression and anxiety to tips on managing body image and self-esteem issues—these creators are doing the important work of opening up channels of communication about such a necessary topic. Today, we're recognizing some of the creators who help drive authentic and empathetic conversations:
- @micheline.maalouf - Micheline Maalouf is a licensed trauma therapist. Her unique account serves as a source of both information and inspiration as she details her experiences helping others as a therapist and receiving help herself as a therapy patient.
- @hunterprosper - Hunter Prosper is an ICU nurse and content creator. Hunter brings kindness and thoughtfulness to TikTok through his channel, from which he shares heartfelt stories from uplifting encounters with local everyday people, highlighting that everyone has a story worth telling.
- @doctorshepard_md - Dr. Melissa Shepard is a psychiatrist and therapist. She uses her platform to educate people about mental health in an accessible way—covering everything from how to choose the right therapist to the different ways depression can manifest.
- @jayshetty - A bestselling author, purpose coach, and podcaster, Jay Shetty demonstrates how transformative positive thinking and inner reflection can be. Jay shares affirmations and advice meant to to help people achieve inner peace and increase self-confidence.
- @theshaniproject - Shani Tran is a licensed professional clinical counselor who uses humor to advocate for inclusivity in therapy spaces. She stresses the necessity of cultural competency among therapists and crucial well-being practices, like setting boundaries.
- @jakegoodmanmd - Dr. Jake Goodman is a psychiatry resident physician, mental health activist, and an influencer. With over 1M followers, he has won the respect and admiration of many, including the White House, through his compassionate approach to explaining mental healthcare and his openness about his own personal mental health battle.
- @anisabenitez - Anisa Benitez is an actor, model, filmmaker, and wellness advocate. She understands how impactful storytelling can be, as she uses both her TikTok account and her podcast, No Starving Artist, to detail her experiences with therapy, guide meditations, and share tips for mindfulness.
- @amoderntherapist - Dr. Justin Puder is a therapist and licensed psychologist who creates informative content that addresses the current realities around mental health challenges, including topics like anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and toxic relationships. He works to break down misconceptions about both therapy and therapists.
- @thetherapygal - Leeor Gal is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Her account is a testament to how broad therapy and mental health can be, as she takes a creative approach to sharing a wide-range of information—from the different types of therapies to advice on how to communicate effectively in relationships to how to manage anxiety and stress.
- @ijorgealvarez - Jorge Alvarez is a mental health advocate, digital strategist, and content creator who uses creative storytelling to inspire action, empower others, and build community. Jorge believes that through sharing his lived experiences and the lessons learned along the way, he is helping to de-stigmatize mental health and cultivate a space for collective reflection, unlearning limiting beliefs, and generational healing.
- @christina_lpc - Christina Guarino is a licensed therapist. She uses humor and compassion to dispel myths about mental health, therapy, and treatment.
Partnering for greater impact
Though each person's mental health experience is unique and personal, we know that achieving a world where everyone can discuss their mental well-being and receive the care they need will require every one to act. We believe that we're stronger together, and we're grateful to the organizations who share their expertise on TikTok. This month we're spotlighting several nonprofits who are working to build a more inclusive future:
- Born This Way Foundation (@btwfoundation): Co-founded and led by @ladygaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation supports youth mental health and works with young people to build a kinder and braver world.
- Crisis Text Line (@crisistextline): Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 text-based mental health support and crisis intervention to provide people immediate support in their moments of need.
- JED Foundation (@jedfoundation): The JED Foundation is a non-profit that works to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (@nami): National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
- National Eating Disorders Association (@neda): NEDA is dedicated to supporting people and families affected by eating disorders through their helpline, informative content, and legislative advocacy.
- Peer Health Exchange (@peerhealthexchange): Peer Health Exchange builds healthier communities with teens and young adults through creating education opportunities for peers to share the tools and resources young people need to make healthy decisions
- RAINN (@rainn): RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, operating the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carrying out programs across the country to prevent sexual violence and aid survivors.
- Sound Mind Live (@soundmindlive): Sound Mind Live uses the power of music to catalyze action to build community and open dialogue around mental health.
Programming for change
Music and sound has the power to bring people together, to help them relax, or even to get through difficult times. In this spirit, we invite everyone to tune into our special LIVE programming events happening throughout the month, including:
- A LIVE discussion on how to set boundaries with your parents, led by psychotherapist Dr. Courtney Tracy (@the.truth.doctor) and hosted by @cosmopolitan on May 10th at 7pm ET / 4pm PT.
- A 'Get Ready with Me' mental health check-in with Leyna Bloom (@leynabloom) and Olivia Ponton (@iamoliviaponton), hosted by @sportsillustratedswim on May 19th at 7pm ET / 4pm PT.
- A broadcast of the 4th Annual Sound Mind Live (@soundmindlive) Music Festival for Mental Health on May 21st at 4pm ET / 1pm PT. The concert will feature performances by KAMAUU (@kamauuworld), Wrabel (@wrabelofficial), Allison Russell (@allisonrussell), The Cold War Kids, Big Boi (@bigboi), and American Authors (@theamericanauthors)—with proceeds supporting free mental health programs offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
- A LIVE musical performance by @yungblud, followed by a mental heath discussion with the artist on May 25th at 5pm ET / 2 pm PT. Proceeds from the performance will go towards supporting @crisistextline's critical work to aid people going through difficult times.
- A curated wellness-themed playlist, featuring @tylershawmusic.
We build well-being into our policies to support our community members and partner with experts to develop resources to connect our community to information, such as our Well-Being Guide, which contains tips for those who want to mindfully share their journeys, and Eating Disorder Guide, to help people struggling with eating or body image concerns.
We believe that people should be able to explore safely, which is why we redirect searches and block harmful hashtags. For instance, when people search terms like #eatingdisorders or #suicide within the app, they'll find support resources, such as helplines and information on how they can find assistance. Additionally, we offer features that help people decide which amount of screen time is best for them, tailor their feeds to avoid potentially triggering content, and filters to help them manage their comments.
Mental Health Awareness Month shows just how far conversations about well-being have come on TikTok. We're proud to be a place where people can share their stories, break down stigma, and find community. We know that mental health is a complex area, and we aim to navigate it with help from experts, nuance, and most of all, kindness.