17 Influencers Championing Mental Health Awareness
As we continue through Mental Health Awareness Month, we at Alpha Magazines are partnering with Mental Health Action Network and MTV to introduce you to 17 influential individuals who are open about their own mental health. These influencers from different walks of life are not only inspiring people with their personal stories but also providing actionable advice to promote mental health wellness.
“Since the beginning of January, I have been working two jobs. At first it was okay trying to make extra money. As time went by, things started happening and I noticed myself try to go into a hole. There were times that I worked consistently without any off days and that did some damage to not only my body but my mindset. To overcome what I was feeling, I would take time out to do things that I want whether it’s going out to eat or simply a walk in the park. I also surround myself by others who love me. Your mental state is everything and if you do not take care of it, then everything is going to be a consistent cycle. You and your happiness comes before anything or anyone else because how can we make others happy when we aren’t truly happy.”
“My day-to-day consists of going to numerous rigorous classes, answering emails, filming and editing content, completing homework assignments, and so much more!
Don’t get me wrong, as I love the challenges of being a student and am more than thankful for the platform to create content for many people to enjoy- juggling these roles can be difficult and often leaves me feeling a little stressed and anxious.
Battling anxiety has taken some time to manage, but methods such as: making a list of my day-to-day tasks in the order they need to be completed, going on a “hot girl” walk or a “muscle burning” workout, and even dedicating time each day to do something that I love such as interacting with my followers, making my favorite smoothie, or spending time with close friends or family has helped over the last few years.“
“My mental health has its ups and downs like anyone. I learned not to stress about things that are out of my power. I take time to myself and do activities that make me happy and put me in a healthy state of mind. which could be as simple as watching my favorite show, taking a walk or anything simple. I make sure I eat as healthy as I can and get some exercise in which definitely helps out. Just remember it’s ok to cry also. Don’t ever hold I’m emotions. Let it out and talk about it!“
“In my twenties, I’ve faced some tough challenges that have affected my mental health. I had childhood trauma which left deep scars and made me feel scared and alone.
As a teenager, I struggled a lot with feeling sad and hopeless. It was like a heavy cloud was always hanging over me. I also felt a lot of pressure to fit in and like my body, but it seemed impossible. Society had these strict rules about what was beautiful, and I didn’t feel like I measured up. It made me feel bad about myself. I became an over-thinker.
But even in the darkest times, I found a tiny bit of hope. I learned to accept help and talk about what happened. I went to therapy and found people who supported me. I found support from loved ones, I found healing, I learnt to set boundaries, practice self compassion and engage in activities that brought me joy.
I realized that my scars don’t define me they show how strong I am.
Now, I’m standing tall as a survivor. I want to share my story and give hope to others who have been through tough times too. Let’s break the silence and embrace our strength together.“
“I’ve struggled with anxiety since 2019, and I’ve found that going for walks is the thing that helps me the most when I’m anxious. As well as taking time to play instruments such as guitar and piano.“
“I’ve been dealing with severe anxiety for a few years now. I think the pandemic triggered my anxiety to get worse. I took time off work to work on my mental health. While on my break, I started therapy to learn how to deal with my anxiety better. I learned ways to try to prevent my anxiety attacks. Also, I started meditating, journaling and reading more. I started a self care journey as well. At one point, I was so stressed that I stopped taking care of myself. Now I take the time out to eat healthy, workout, do my hair and makeup(sometimes). I noticed that when I look put together I feel a little better. My mental state is a lot better now that I have better knowledge on my mental health.“
“My mental health battle started at an early age. I was always put in competition with my cousin, it was always us trying to out do each other. I have always been chubby, and because it was frowned upon it became my insecurity. I was teased from pre school all the way until I graduated high school. My family played a huge part of the bullying as well. I felt alone all the time. It became a goal to always be better than how people viewed me of just being the fat Girlll. I began to focus my thoughts on success, embrace how beautiful I was and show myself TLC and I became confident in showing up for myself regardless of how I felt. Looking good is feeling good and once one learns what makes them happy, mental stability will come.“
Fatima Isa Malabu
“My journey began in 2022 after I experienced my first major emotional setback. The emotions were stronger than I have ever felt and it was quite difficult to manage. I started resolving this by discussing with doctors , family, especially my mother who has always been a rock to me. I decided to create a page where I share my experience and skincare journey on Instagram to help keep me busy and occupied and I realized that sharing my journey on skincare with people really made me extremely happy. Doing my skincare routine uplifts my mood when I’m down , hanging with friends and going on solo dates have really with my mental health. All of the actions I take to keep a healthy mental state were born out of this experience. Today, I try to make sure that I have a good balance between content creation and my personal life as being productively busy is one of the best ways I have found to keep sane. I also try to help other people going through all kinds of problems resolve their issues as I have found that this expands my empathy as well as my ability to handle my own mental state. Others include talking a lot to family and friends about ongoing challenges, and getting good, regular sleep.“
“In my journey to maintain good mental health, I prioritize self-care by incorporating activities that promote well-being. This includes practicing good sleep hygiene, striving for a balanced diet, regular exercise, and making time for relaxation and hobbies. Building strong social support networks with friends, family, and loved ones is vital for my mental well-being. I value connecting with others, sharing experiences, and seeking support when I need it, as it fosters a sense of belonging and enhances emotional resilience. To manage stress, I’ve developed techniques like mindfulness and deep breathing exercises, along with engaging in hobbies that bring me joy. Establishing clear boundaries in personal and professional relationships is also crucial for maintaining my mental health, as I’ve learned the importance of saying no, setting realistic expectations, and prioritizing self-care to avoid burnout. While everyone’s mental health journey is unique, I find these strategies work well for me. Taking care of my mental health is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness, consistent practice, and a willingness to seek help when needed.“
“I’ve struggled with mental health just like the next person, but I’d like to think I’ve found great ways to stay above water when it comes to keeping a positive mind. When I suddenly lost my corporate job in 2021 my mental was all over the place, complete roller coaster! My exact thoughts every morning were “How will these bills get paid? Will a job call me today with an interview?” I have a family to help support and I dealt with depression almost everyday for 6 months.
After becoming a Full-time Content Creator the depression didn’t stop there. But I knew I had to find ways to FEEL better or to at least feel some type of progress each day, so one day I woke up and wrote down everything that makes me happy. From hobbies, to simple daily tasks, to people, and even videos I’d like to reference just for a good laugh. I made a routine out of my daily tasks and hobbies, so I would wake up with something to look forward to that I enjoyed. After implementing these things into my life they began to reflect in my content, so I began to inspire others to show up for themselves as I would.
It all starts from within and even on the days I didn’t feel the best, I prayed and spoke light into my life instead of doubt and worry. These were the best steps in taking charge of my life that I could have ever taken.“
“At the age of 13 I lost my father to Diabetes. That loss catapulted me into depression and a very bad relationship with food. Throughout my life since then I’ve leaned on my family and friends as encouragement and support as well as stayed active and take note of other things I loved in this world (besides food). I began to see a therapist in my 30s when I started to sense myself going into another deep depression. Through that experience I learned that happy is something that isn’t permanent and to think otherwise I would constantly be chasing something that is ever changing. I also learned to give myself space and grace whenever I felt overwhelmed or that I hadn’t met a goal I set for myself. I always make time for me and time to do health rewarding activities, while still working (not rushing) to accomplish the things I want in life and maintaining my mental health while doing so.“
“I was at the bottom of my life end of 2022 through the personal mistake that I made in investment. I never felt so depressed like this before, not only because I lost a huge deal of saving but also it attacks my self esteem and confidence. I feel like losing myself and hated myself terribly. I am fortunate that I could talk it out to my hubby and got full support from my family. From that point, I practice self journaling, morning prayer, working out more, and go connecting more with nature and in March 2023 I could see I finally able to make peace with myself and redeemed my soul slowly. So remember to dance in the storm as whatever problem you might face, Lord will never leave you alone“
“I feel depressed a lot when certain things are very overwhelming for me and i get in this mood where i wanna shut myself off from everything and everyone i feel like that keeps me back instead of moving forward because I’m slowing myself down so i try to motivate myself and remember that i have a purpose and wanna get things done.“
“Over the last three years I’d say my mental health has been on a rollercoaster. Day to day I’m a happy functioning business owner with a good life. Some days I feel like I’m stuck in place, like I’m not moving forward in life and I get very down on myself. I can spend days in a funk, really not acting like myself. I try to think positively about my life and what I do have and what I’ve achieved so far. I try not to compare myself to others. I often go on trips to get out of my head and take a load off.“
“I have been struggling with depression for over 11 years. The year 2018 was one of the worst years where my depression was at peak. After my SH attempt in 2018, I knew I had to make a change. This was the same year I met my amazing fiancé, Jarrett. Thankfully, he has been my biggest supporter overcoming my mental health. About a year after him and I met, I became disabled. This really took a toll on my mental health so I decided to buy my first eyeshadow palette and some starter makeup as I was always home. Before that I had always been an artsy person drawing face portraits and practicing FX makeup. With each day I was home, I kept practicing creative makeup. I decided to create a TikTok account and started creating content there. This became a huge escape for my depression and reality. Fast forward to this year, 2023, my disabilities have gotten much worse. I suffer from degenerative disk disease, arthritis in my spine, fibromyalgia, POTS, SVT, Major depression, severe anxiety and panic attacks. Before receiving some of my diagnosis last year, my depression had gotten so bad I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for almost a week. All I kept looking forward to while I was there is seeing the people that loved me, supported me and being able to create art again. When I’m down, it’s hard but I think about everything I have accomplished in my social media career and think about everyone who supports me for the person I have and I appreciate every one of them.“
“My whole life I was bullied for being different because I was born an amputee and that led me being insecure about myself and how I look . Fast forward now I officially got help for my eating disorder and self harm problem . And I’m now a Model , Author & Social media influencer.“
“I always wanted to be a mother. It’s something I wanted so badly in my late 20s. I got pregnant in 2020 after a big scare that it would be difficult for me to get pregnant. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant. I was excited to have this baby! I gave birth in 2021 to a beautiful baby boy, his name is Royce. After I give birth I stopped feeling like myself I stopped doing the little things that made me happy. It was like I let myself go in a sense and lost myself after having a baby. I had a hard time balancing motherhood and my personal life. It wasn’t until a year later that I realized what I was going through. If it wasn’t the support of my partner and family I don’t know what I would’ve done. I started doing the little things again that made me happy, something as simple as my skincare routine is so important because it gave me that time to myself and it’s therapeutic.
Today I’m a working mom, still balancing making content when I can, making time for family and Myself. Not enough women give themselves enough credit for the changes they go through after having a baby. If you’re a new mom and reading pushhh through sis ! There isn’t anything you can’t do!!!“
Take The Action You Need Every Day For Your Mental Health
Wow, what a treasure trove of authentic, inspiring journeys from these seventeen influencers who have each found their own unique ways of navigating mental health. As we reflect on their stories, we can extract some valuable nuggets of wisdom that can serve as life rafts on our own journeys.
- Prioritize Self-Care: No matter how busy or chaotic life gets, prioritizing self-care should never be negotiable. As Destiny Rudd suggests, taking time out for things that bring joy, such as a simple walk in the park, can do wonders for our mental state. Aliyah Brown beautifully encapsulates this sentiment by waking up with something to look forward to each day – a hobby, a simple task, or a source of laughter.
- Embrace Healthy Habits: Maintaining physical health can directly impact mental wellbeing. Jummai Yakubu, Listiani Hartono, Kayla Grinston, and Jaffy Garg remind us to engage in activities that promote physical wellbeing, such as eating healthily, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and engaging in relaxation practices like meditation and mindfulness.
- Stay Connected: Having a robust support system can be immensely beneficial. Lauryn Campbell, Fatima Isa Malabu, Ginae Whitney, and SheriZa Rahman highlight the importance of staying connected with loved ones, friends, and communities that offer emotional support and understanding.
- Express Yourself: Letting out emotions and talking about struggles can be therapeutic. Rae Hightower reminds us that it’s okay to cry and share our feelings, while Courtney Borucki found creative expression through art as an effective coping mechanism.
- Cultivate Positivity: As challenging as it may seem, maintaining a positive mindset can be incredibly powerful. LeighAnn Lights encourages us not to compare ourselves to others, while Keith Parris and Aliyah Brown focus on positive self-talk and prayer. Even in the face of hardship, they encourage us to focus on achievements, strengths, and possibilities.
Through these lived experiences, we’re reminded that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing mental health. Each journey is as unique as the person undertaking it. It’s okay to stumble, to fall, to take a step back. It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s okay to take things at your own pace.
Remember, the journey to mental wellbeing isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s about cultivating patience, understanding, and compassion for yourself every step of the way. As you take this journey into your hands, let it unfold in its own time and in its own unique way. The most important thing is that you keep going, one step at a time, knowing that your pace is the right pace for you.
We hope that the stories of these influencers will inspire you to prioritize your mental health. We believe in you and your strength to overcome the challenges that come your way. And remember, no matter how tough things get, there is always help available. Never hesitate to reach out. Because your mental health matters, today and every day.