Monday, 4 January 2016

Top mental health vloggers & videos

Happy New Year! Traditionally we start the New Year by recommending some of our favourite blogs. In the past we have covered mental health and also dementia. This year we’re looking at videos and vlogging.

“A vlog (or video blog) is a blog that contains video content. The small, but growing, segment of the blogosphere devoted to vlogs is sometimes referred to as the vlogosphere.”

There are a surprising number of people vlogging about mental health. Many of these are young people around the world who have grasped the opportunity that the video site YouTube provides to talk about their personal experiences online. Many report that they find it therapeutic to do this, and hope that their experiences will also help and support others who are struggling with mental health issues.

A high proportion of these vloggers regard their distress as an illness and their experiences are very much phrased around the medical model relating to mental health. There are, however, some videos which take the social model view, and others where the boundaries are blurred. You can read more about the debate around the medicalisation of mental health on this blog, suffice to say most (though not all) of the recommended vlogs and videos here tend towards the view that mental distress is, as campaigner, writer and speaker Jacqui Dillon states, “a normal response to abnormal stress”, as opposed to an illness. 

And so whilst we’re on the topic of Jacqui, we may as well start the list by highlighting a video of her on our very own PAVO YouTube channel. This was made at the 2013 Powys “Shaping Services” conference.

The channel Crazywise is run by photographer and film maker Phil Borges and features videos questioning how 'Western culture defines and treats severe mental disorders'. Phil is also working on a feature length documentary 'challenging the current mental health system in crisis'. Many of the Crazywise films are interviews with "experts" talking about their experiences in the field, including British psychiatrist Russell Razzaque who has a background in mindfulness meditation and is currently leading a clinical trial into Peer-Supported Open Dialogue

Rai Waddingham hears voices and sees visions. She is an 'independent trainer specialising in innovative ways of supporting people who struggle with extreme states (including ‘psychosis’, ‘dissociation’ and post traumatic reactions).' This video from her channel 
focuses on her experiences of hearing voices.

Laura Delano, an American who also features on the Crazywise channel, has her own independent channel where she vlogs regularly about her own experiences of psychiatry and the psychiatric system. She describes herself as an ‘ex-"Bipolar" patient, (and) discusses life after psychiatric labels and psychotropic drugs’.

Another Laura, Laura Nuttall, vlogs about her experiences in psychiatric hospital with real insight given to the actual experience of being on a mental health ward in the UK.

LikeKristen is a young American vlogger with a very watchable style. Her videos include all kinds of mental health topics, ranging from experiences of self harm, to stigma and practical suggestions to help recovery. Here is a link to her journaling video. 

Fixers is a UK organisation featured previously on our blog. Sarah Harmon, who lives in Powys, talked for Fixers about her experience of mental health issues and the work she does in schools to help combat stigma. Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, and uses short film and other media to enable young people have their voices heard and help make positive change. Check out the Fixers website to watch videos relating to mental health and young people in Wales.

Kati Morton is an American therapist who provides information about “conditions” and “treatments” that are very easy to follow. As the National Health Service in the UK uses much of the same terminology it can be helpful to watch these if you want to find out more about treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that are available to people here too.

And finally, the Spiritual Crisis Network has some excellent videos on its website, including a 5 minute animated film called "Compassion for Voices: a tale of courage and hope", produced by King’s College, London.

We hope you enjoy watching some of these videos and vlogs, and would love to hear about others that you recommend. Let us know in the comments box below.

All the best for 2016 from the mental health team at PAVO – Angharad, Anne, Glynis, Jane and Jackie.

No comments:

Post a Comment