Here at @nbga.mag we’re gearing up for what’s presumably going to be the most trying mental health awareness week of the decade (in the UK). As Covid-19 lockdown measures continue worldwide, this #MHAW will see us all continuing to fight the urge to go outside in a phenomenal global effort to stamp out the coronavirus once and for all. During this time, online communication tools have been pushed to the forefront of our collective psyche, as we’re all increasingly forced to harness digital spaces as a tool to stay connected. After all, uncertainty breeds fear and anxiety and with our lives all respectively out-of-whack right now, our online connections with each other are what have been keeping us all grounded.
In recent weeks, – understandably – there’s been a growing consensus amongst young people becoming pretty fed-up of being physically isolated from their peers. Although on a surface level these qualms may seem shallow-minded and self-centered, they’re not entirely unjustified given the widely discussed psychological effects quarantine is having on us all as a human collective. In amongst all that’s going on, for what seems like the first-time ever, millennials and Gen-Z’s are beginning to express an aversion for online communications over in-person encounters, which in this day and age is relatively unheard of.
Of course, this shared rejection of constant online engagement is a natural by-product of us all having no other choice right now but to connect and provide support for our loved ones through cyber-space. It’s no news that us millennials and Gen-Z’s have been historically known to throw our toys out of the pram whenever we feel as if we’re not spoilt for choice. Regardless, it’s important to highlight that although the conditions of quarantine have almost forced us to exclusively rely on digital media for communication indefinitely, the self-outlined rules of moderation that applied before the global lockdown was put into effect still apply now. So, just because we’re locked inside all day, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t manage the content and frequency of online engagement in our own lives as a means to preserve our own mental well-being.
It’s for this reason that here at NBGA we think it’s ever-important to guide our readers in the direction of positive online platforms who promote content geared towards us all realising our figurative online worlds as inclusive, non-judgmental places to be. We’re choosing to highlight those platforms who have dedicated their online presence to mapping out safe-spaces where progressive, embracing and informative conversations about mental health and personal well-being are encouraged. To close off #MHAW, we’ve put together a list of female-led platforms whose respective ethos are grounded in a desire to build online communities by-way of openly discussing the modern inhibition to live vicariously online.
Each of these platforms – in their own unique way – guides the dialogue surrounding dichotomies between technological advancement and mental-health awareness. So, whether you struggle with a pre-existing mental health condition that has been worsened by the stark reality of isolation, or you’re simply temporarily experiencing Ms.Rona’s characteristic “under-productivity guilt” – these five online platforms are a sure-fire resource bank of knowledge to be utilised for relief, advice, solidarity and accessibility when it comes to issues surrounding mental health awareness this month and beyond.