#MentalHealth TikTok: What You Should Know

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We are in a state of emergency when it comes to the mental health of youth and teens. TikTok can be a great place to connect with people and feel seen, especially since it’s not exactly easy for everyone to just find a therapist and go to therapy.  But, anyone can post something and claim that it’s legit info, when in fact it may not be. Myles investigates the complexities of mental health Tik Tok and answers the question: Should teens turn to TikTok for help with mental health?

TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion on KQED Learn, a safe place for middle and high school students to investigate controversial topics and share their voices. Click to see this video and lesson plan on KQED Learn.

Is Mental Health TikTok actually good for your mental health?

TikTok can be a great place to connect with people and feel seen, especially since it’s not exactly easy for everyone to just find a therapist and go to therapy. A long history of racial disparities in mental healthcare can make it especially hard for BIPOC folks to get care. But on TikTok, there are a lot of therapists sharing great info. But it’s also important to know that TikTok is not therapy. In order to get a proper diagnosis you have to be assessed by a mental health professional, and when you’re in therapy you can get individualized treatment plans, which TikTok obviously can’t provide.

What are some of the problems with mental health TikTok?


There is a lot of misinformation about mental health on social media. Other times, information can be oversimplified or overly general, so it can be easy to walk away feeling like you’ve got the thing when you might not. There’s a lot of noise on mental health TikTok, but there’s also some truly helpful info! We chatted with Dr. Patrice Berry for tips on how to get the most out of it. Be sure to check out her channel too: https://www.youtube.com/c/DrPatriceBerry

What are some tips for getting the most out of mental health TikTok?

First, who is posting the content? An actual licensed mental health professional– someone who’s had specialized training in mental health– has more credibility than a life coach or a social media influencer. Also, how does the content make you feel? If you leave the app feeling hopeful or you’re finding beneficial information, then you’re likely engaging with content that works for you, but if you leave the app feeling bad about yourself, then maybe you need to reassess the type of content you are engaging with and don’t be afraid to just take a break from TikTok. It can be super easy to compare yourself to others and to take on other people’s struggles and burdens as your own.

Can I control what I see on TikTok?

The TikTok algorithm serves you the type of content you engage with the most. So make sure you are only liking, sharing, and commenting on the stuff that makes you feel good or you find helpful. So actually leaving negative comments on a post you don’t like can actually boost that post– and you may end up seeing a lot of similar content.


Therapy directories:




The Youth Mental Health Project: https://ymhproject.org/resources/

Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine: https://www.adolescenthealth.org/

National Alliance on Mental Illness: https://www.nami.org/