In times of uncertainty, taking care of our mental health is especially important.
That’s why Dr. Julie Smith of Hampshire, England, is getting creative with her therapy tactics. While you’ll typically find fun dance videos and hilarious songs on TikTok, the clinical psychologist is turning the platform into a haven for people who need help coping with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The former NHS therapist joined TikTok about seven months ago. She selected the social media platform for a few reasons. First, she wanted to reach a wider, younger audience. Second, she hopes to encourage everyone to discuss mental health concerns and seek help by providing simple tips.
While Julie’s videos are shorter and more lighthearted than any official therapy sessions, her advice is just as sound. For example, in one clip, she dances while her on-screen text reminds viewers not to compare their quarantine experience to other people’s.
“I realize this is a way for me to have an impact on so many more people, in a different way,” she told CNN. “Therapy is really, really valuable, but when I’m in my therapy room I can only help one person at a time. Whereas if I make a really informative video, then that has maybe a smaller effect but for lots more people.”
Of course, Julie is careful to only give general advice because specific issues call for specific plans of action. That said, she and other therapists have found that sharing videos on TikTok is a great way to help individuals who are feeling lonely and isolated at home.
“Overall mental health awareness is my main goal,” said Marquis Norton, Ph.D., a licensed professional counselor who has also joined the platform. “In this pandemic, a lot of people are afraid and lose hope, so I try to use TikTok to provide lighthearted information that could be perceived as entertainment, educating them and adding value.”
What a great way to not only support people around the world, but also to normalize the fact that we all need help processing our emotions from time to time! If you’re interested in learning more, check out all of Julie’s videos on TikTok or Facebook.
Listen to some of Julie’s wise words below, and share this story so others can benefit from her advice. For more joy and hope, check out the Coronavirus Good News Dashboard.
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