TIKTOK Brings Light to Global Mental Health


Ugo Aliogo

The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and United for Global Mental Health (UnitedGMH) are with TikTok to increase global awareness about mental health challenges.

A statement made available to THISDAY said Global and local creators including Neffati Brothers, Ana Gum, Coach Janick and Shawnee Reid have joined the movement, #MoveforMentalHealth challenge to be held in Nigeria from October 9-10 for World Mental Health Day. WHO, world leaders, celebrities and mental health experts will live stream on Saturday, October 10 at 15:00.

The statement also noted that TikTok has launched the “Move for Mental Health: Let’s Invest” challenge, in partnership with the WHO, WFMH and UnitedGMH.

The statement further stated that the challenge aims to bring global awareness to the need to invest in mental health; “a need made all the more acute by the COVID-19 pandemic and will take place in Nigeria from 9 October using the hashtag #MoveforMentalHealth.”

It affirmed that with billions lacking access to appropriate mental health support, the WHO, WFMH, and UnitedGMH have come together to create the first truly global movement calling for greater investment in mental health.

It explained that the TikTok community in Nigeria is encouraged to play sport, dance, go for a walk or come up with their own ways to move the World Mental Health Day and film themselves moving for mental health in any way they would like.

“Globally there is not enough movement on mental health, despite the fact that close to one billion people across the world have a mental disorder. Having faced years of chronic underinvestment, this World Mental Health Day we are coming together to #MoveforMentalHealth with TikTok’s support because now more than ever it’s time to invest so that everyone, everywhere has someone to turn to,” said the Global Mental Health’s Founder, Elisha London.

The statement disclosed that Global hitmaker, DJ Marshmello, and other creators including Neffati Brothers, Ana Gum, Jhay_cen and Kingzrib, have all joined the challenge to encourage Nigerians to do the same.

The Director of the Mental Health and Substance Use Department, WHO, Dévora Kestel, said: “At WHO, we are delighted to see the commitment of TikTok to encouraging conversations and movement on mental health. Mobilization on a global scale can help drive the decisions that ultimately will lead to better mental health services when and where we need them.”

The statement added that to wrap up the campaign, WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will be joined by world leaders, celebrities and mental health experts via a live stream on Saturday, October 10 at 03:00 Nigerian time, on TikTok about how the community can help make sure that quality mental health care is available to everyone who needs it.

The statement pointed out that the live stream would feature short videos showcasing how WHO and partners are working to improve people’s mental health around the world, celebrity testimonies, questions and answers and performances, and statements of commitment from heads of state and government.

The TikTok Content Operations Manager, Africa, Boniswa Sidwaba, remarked that TikTok prides itself on being a place that inspires creativity and brings joy to its users, especially considering the challenging year we have all had.

“This World Mental Health Day, it’s important, now more than ever, that we increase awareness about mental health challenges and provide a platform where we can promote the safety and mental wellbeing of our users,” he added.

The statement posited that TikTok has long been committed to fostering an environment that promotes good mental health. With features such as screen time management and restricted mode, users are empowered to focus on their digital wellbeing.

The statement asserted that TikTok’s comprehensive Privacy and Safety settings allow users to decide who can follow them, send them messages or reactions, and set their account private to avoid any unwanted solicitation.