Absolutely not—we believe that some of the most powerful messages are from people who have witnessed or supported friends and family members struggling with mental health issues. Even if mental health issues have not affected you directly, we actively encourage you to submit a video as a sign of solidarity and support for our campaign.
No—while we believe that a face helps deliver a powerful message, we also know that people express themselves in different ways. If you choose not to be in the video, we encourage you to be creative and make a video that helps you tell your story. Be it through photos, images, or sounds, we believe you should do whatever works best for you.
Yes—we believe that the most powerful videos are from people when they feel most comfortable. We encourage you to express yourself and communicate your story in a way that helps to foster a community that actively destigmatizes mental health issues. If you think that using just your first name or a pseudonym will help you do this, then that is great!
Samaritans—offers 24 hour support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 08457 90 90 90
Lifeline—offers 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Phone: 13 11 14
Canada & US
National Suicide Prevention Helpline–offers 24-hour, toll-free support for anyone in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Please feel free to send us the YouTube link to your video or send the video via Dropbox to our email (email@example.com).
If you believe that making a video will help you to get through this difficult time then we wholeheartedly support you in doing so. We know that there are good times and bad times when dealing with mental health issues and we urge you to share words of encouragement or ideas of things that have helped you and may help others.
Sharing your story can be a very powerful and encouraging experience, both to the person watching the video and the person that filmed it. There are, however, a few issues to consider before you press ‘Record’. This short list will help you to think about online consent, appropriate language and the impact of how we communicate about our own experiences. Please note that It Gets Brighter will be unable to share videos that do not fit within these guidelines.
Writing about your own experience of having a mental health problem is a brave and inspirational thing to do. It is ok to need more time to think about whether or not you want to tell the world what happened, it’s ok to talk about your decision to film with other people first, and it’s ok to publish anonymously (you can decide whether to use your first or full name or have a different word when titling your video). Once something has been published online you can’t control who reads it or what their reaction will be, so make sure you are ready; you are doing something amazing and it is bound to have a positive impact on somebody’s life. If you’re thinking about filming a video;
– Remember, you don’t have to share anything that you aren’t comfortable sharing. Some people would prefer to talk about helpful strategies they used/ how they supported someone rather than about their own personal experience.
– Perhaps you’d like to do a practice video and come back to it a week later to see if you still feel happy with submitting to IGB.
– You might find it useful to think about your reasons for sharing your story – if you find that your motivations are coming from a place that isn’t helpful to your own wellbeing and about inspiring hope in others, this may not be the right time for you to submit a video. There are plenty of other ways you can support the campaign – by promoting the website and spreading the word!
Finally, if you do decide to submit a video, be mindful that thinking through your story could be emotional and you might want to arrange to meet a friend afterwards.
The It Gets Brighter Campaign operates in a safe, pro-recovery online environment to inspire and motivate people to share stories and strategies for managing mental health. We look at recovery as an active and positive process. Reflecting this, we think it’s important that talking about mental health carries a supportive and positive message, being mindful of the feelings and vulnerabilities that some people may be experiencing when they are watching. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t mention the challenges – it’s important to acknowledge that people have ups and downs during and after ‘recovery’. Bear in mind however that ‘unhopeful’ messages such as labelling specific therapies, treatment centres or medication as negative could discourage individuals from seeking support. It’s about getting a balance, and recognising different things will work for different people. The hopeful bit of your message doesn’t have to be a big milestone, it may demonstrate being proud of yourself for small steps. In addition, including other aspects of your life & identity and thinking about what makes you ‘you’, could be important in breaking down pre-conceptions of people that know less about mental health difficulties. If you’re struggling with keeping within this messaging, try asking yourself the following questions;
In your video, please don’t go into detail about specific behaviours as this may be triggering for current sufferers. Instead, focus on making sure that what you write is safe for a current sufferer and doesn’t provide them with something to compare themselves to. Triggering content can include; details of self-harm (the methods used or the physical aspects), numbers (i.e. calories and weight), specific details regarding destructive behaviour, the length or severity of a sufferer’s stay in hospital/ formal treatment, and describing suicidal methods. With regards to eating difficulties, we also ask that you avoid mentioning specific foodstuffs or quantities, as this can be extremely detrimental to those suffering from an eating disorder and can unintentionally provide tips to someone on their way to developing an eating disorder. Rather than speaking about these specific behaviours, aim to focus on the feelings and psychological effects of having a mental health difficulty, for example loss of self-esteem, shrinking friendship circles etc. There is a lot of information readily available online on the physical effects of mental health difficulties, we’d like to focus on helping people to understand the associated thoughts and feelings.
There’s a lot of different support out there, from your local doctor to peer support to self-help. Depending on where you live, the process for seeking support can vary, but a good first step to take when thinking about getting treatment is to visit your doctor (or GP). This can seem like a scary prospect, but it is a very important step. It can be helpful to write down what you have been experiencing before you go to your first appointment. Taking that first step can be hard, and sometimes you may need to reach out several times before you find the help you need. Do not be discouraged. The right help is out there to help it get brighter for you.
For more information about different mental health conditions, and self help, please click here. We’ve also pulled together a brief overview of the support available in the regions where we’ve launched the It Gets Brighter Campaign. If you are in a region we haven’t launched, or want to find global support services, check out our International page.
Ripple is the newest campaign from Student Minds, giving students’ the knowledge, confidence and skills to change opinions about depression. We want students to share their experiences of depression through blogs and videos to help others learn more about depression, and share their #RippleTips of ways students can support their mental health. Everyone has a part to play in helping students with experiences of depression.
If you’ve ever experienced depression, supported someone who has, or have a positive message of hope to share about depression, then you may be able to help students with your story. Share a video of story, and support It Gets Brighter and Student Minds in changing minds about depression.
Start a Ripple. Make a Wave.
Find out more about Student Minds’ Ripple Campaign at studentminds.org.uk/Ripple
You can watch It Gets Brighter videos on the Ripple theme here.
Then you can record your own!
Learn more about student depression at www.studentsagainstdepression.org
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