mental illness
The people on this list, ranging from published authors to YouTubers, could prove helpful to those wanting to work on their mental health. (Illustration by Jessica Shaklee, University of Georgia)

Mental illness is extremely difficult to deal with, especially when you feel like you’re facing the world alone. Luckily, there are lots of people willing to share their struggle and connect with others who are going through similar issues. Here are seven people who can make your world a little brighter.

1. Jenny Lawson

Lawson started her career as a blogger by creating “The Bloggess,” which follows Lawson through her life as she shares funny, hard, dramatic, heart-wrenching and overwhelming stories that she has experienced along the way. Lawson struggles with many mental illnesses, saying, “I’ve battled depression, anxiety and a host of other disorders,” and she is always open about her experiences.

From her blog to her books “Furiously Happy” and “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” Lawson has built a community of people who join together to battle depression, anxiety and whatever else comes along. She doesn’t hide any of the more traumatic events that have happened to her because of her mental illness, and she encourages people to be open about their struggles as well.

2. Bodyposipanda (Megan Crabbe)

Megan Crabbe is an incredible spokesperson who fights for people to have the opportunity to own their bodies and experiences. Crabbe’s original platform was not based off mental illness — it was focused on the body positivity movement. Having struggled with eating disorders her entire life, she flipped the script and now encourages others to love their bodies instead of fighting against them.

While building her body positive platform, Crabbe realized how intertwined the body positivity movement and mental illnesses are. Having struggled with depression and anxiety herself, she talks openly about her struggles and often posts messages of encouragement for those who are currently struggling. Mental illness has become a strong aspect of her blog, and she explores her own struggles and those of others going through similar issues.

3. Sophie Gray

Sophie Gray is a longtime mental health advocate, and she has struggled with multiple mental illnesses. Gray is extremely open about her own journey through mental health and what it means to her. She is a spokesperson, speaking at schools and other events to encourage others to take care of themselves, physically and mentally.

Gray also shares her own struggles with self-worth, discussing what it means and how difficult it is to be a social media icon. She is a huge advocate of using journaling to work through mental illness and personal struggle. Not only does she share these stories on social media, but she has built an app, DriveThru, that is meant to help guide people as they journal through different topics and struggles.

4. Sad Ghost Club

This may be a comic rather than a public figure, but it is one of the best comics to turn to for support with mental health. The comic was created by a group of artists who wanted to create a platform around mental health. These comics are short and sweet, encouraging people to push through hard times and laugh at life.

The comic usually features the sad ghost and the skeleton together, supporting each other as they struggle to deal with common issues. If you’re struggling with mental illness, these comics are a good reminder that you’re not alone and that you can make it through the hard times.

5. SelfLoveLiv

Liv is a mental health icon who owns her own story and encourages others to do the same. Having struggled with severe depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, Liv openly discusses what life is like for her on a daily basis and shares her success and failure in dealing with mental illness.

Liv is not afraid to share some of her darker stories, as she discusses calling suicide hotlines and self-harm stories. By opening up about her own mental illness struggles, she has built a compassionate community around encouraging others to push on and talk openly about personal struggles.

Liv is an incredible person to follow when struggling with mental illness because she illustrates that the recovery through mental health is not a straight path — there are many times that you will lapse and have to start all over again, but her journey, like many others, can lead to a better, healthier mind with patience and self-love.

6. Thomas Sanders

Thomas Sanders is a YouTuber who focuses on mental health awareness. Sanders openly discusses how he struggles with anxiety and depression, making sure that his audience feels valued and understood. While Sanders doesn’t make mental illness a focus on his social media, he does discuss struggling with depression and anxiety fairly regularly.

One reason that Sanders is not constantly discussing mental health on his page is because he wants to be a light for those who might be struggling, keeping things happy and lighthearted with occasional conversation about more difficult topics in order to be a place for people to step away from their struggles.

However, Sanders’ YouTube channel is dedicated to his series “Sanders Sides,” which features the different aspects of his mind, often including how his anxiety interacts with his daily life and how it influences his decisions. He also explores his depression, as he talks about a lack to energy and going through phases where life seems meaningless. Sanders explores mental illness in a way that people can relate to and laugh about.

 7. Against Suicide

Against Suicide originally started as a Twitter account but created an Instagram a few months ago as they gained more followers. Against Suicide focuses on encouraging others to keep fighting through tough mental illness periods and persevere.

The account was created by someone who lost a dear friend to suicide, and they now use this social media as a platform to speak up about mental illness and try to keep others from taking their lives.

Their posts are encouraging and supportive, building a strong community that helps to pull each other out of dark times. They post daily reminders about self-care and ways to get better, allowing people to openly discuss mental illness. This gives their followers a place to go when they feel alone in their fight against mental health.

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