TikTok, an app similar to vine and musical.ly that has grown exponentially in popularity over the last few years, especially among teens, has been sweeping the nation.
It’s similar to other apps like Vine and Musical.ly, but TikTok has much more than just silly videos and people lip-syncing or dancing to music. There are many communities within TikTok, and some of those communities are full of professionals in their fields using the platform to reach a larger audience.
One example of this is qualified experts who use TikTok to share information and answer questions about mental health. Here are some of the most notable mental health professionals on TikTok.
1. Michelin Maalouf, LMHC
Michelin Maalouf is a licensed therapist who works in Florida and has over 1 million followers on her TikTok account.
Her specialties are anxiety and trauma, but she covers a variety of different mental health topics, and in fact focuses on a different one each month. She talks about signs you might be experiencing a particular mental health issue, as well as tips and exercises to help ground you in situations that may make you anxious or cope with trauma.
Her bio establishes both her support for BLM and LGBTQ+ rights, and also states that she has a podcast entitled “Anxious Like You.”
2. Shani Tran, LPCC
Shani Tran is a therapist who speaks a lot about the importance of inclusivity, specifically in therapy and social media, both of which Tran is well versed in.
Her account, entitled @theshaniproject, has 135k followers, and she’s used it to create a safe space for people of color in the world of mental health to make themselves heard, as she does herself. The majority of her posts focus on the experiences of black therapists and clients alike.
As the page of her account’s namesake says, Tran is working hard on creating a safe space for people of color to “own it,” and stand up for themselves.
3. Courtney Tracy, LCSW, PsyD
Dr. Courtney Tracey’s TikTok, with the username @the.truth.doctor, focusing on answering questions people may be too scared to come right out and ask. In her bio, Dr. Tracey appropriately refers to herself as “your no-bs therapist.”
She has amassed 1.5 million followers and over 17 million likes on her videos, where she makes an effort to be approachable and promote resources that she thinks her audience will actually be able to use to their advantage while helping as much as she can herself with the platform she has.
4. Justin Puder, PhD
Dr. Justin Puder combines mental health and humor on his TikTok account, where he gives serious advice but also makes jokes and keeps his content lighthearted for his audience, which includes nearly 180k followers, who refer to the psychologist and licensed therapist as “Dr. J.”
Dr. J uses humor to dismantle some of the negative connotations associated with mental illness, and promotes being more open about the topic overall.
Just because mental health is a serious topic doesn’t mean that it always has to be talked about in a serious context!
5. Shane Birkel, LMFT
Shane Birkel is a couples therapist with almost 250k followers on his TikTok. All of his videos are about relationships, and he also live streams every Monday at 3:00 EST.
He gives advice on communication, compatibility, the top priorities in relationships, as well as signs that your relationship or partner may not be treating you with the respect you deserve.
For those experiencing troubles or drama in their relationships, Birkel’s videos could be a solution.
6. Lindsay Fleming, LPC
Lindsay Fleming is a licensed therapist who uses her TikTok primarily for an audience of teens for her audience, as the majority of TikTok users are teenagers or young adults.
She uses the hashtag #heylinds to open up and encourage a two-way line of communication between herself and her audience. And while she primarily makes videos speaking to a younger audience, those of all ages will be able to view and relate to her content.
She covers many different topics on her account, and ADHD is one in particular that she makes videos about regularly.
7. Marquis Norton, PhD
Dr. Marquis Norton has a very wide variety of content available to his audience of nearly 135k followers on his account. He refers to himself as the “CEO of Therapy” in his bio.
He gives advice on almost every topic you could possibly imagine, particularly coping mechanisms that may not be conducive to your mental health. Other notable topics Dr. Norton speaks on include information on mental illnesses, alcohol abuse, toxic relationships, and positive affirmations.
This wide range of topics covered has earned him over 2 million likes on TikTok.
8. Julie Smith, PhD
With 2.6 million followers and 26 million likes, the psychologist Dr. Julie Smith has an enormous following on her TikTok account.
Dr. Smith talks about many different mental health topics, including anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and relationships, all paired up with calming music that make her videos very pleasant to listen to.
She offers advice and encouragement to her followers about everything imaginable, and so has grown very popular on the platform.
9. Melissa Shepard, MD
Melissa Shepard is a psychiatrist who uses her TikTok to directly answer the questions of her audience.
Shepard has nearly 900k followers and over 13 million likes. In her bio, Shepard describes herself as both mental health and body positive. Her platform is a safe space for people to find encouragement on both of those fronts, as well as to ask questions they may not be able to find answers to elsewhere.
10. Kojo Sarfo, DNP
Dr. Kojo Sarfo is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, and his account focuses on many different topics, though he tends to focus on boosting confidence and self-esteem in particular, which did a very popular five-part series on.
Dr. Sarfo also brings to light topics that are talked about less often, such as men’s mental health. He also makes videos with scenes from the office, which incorporates humor into his videos.
These 10 mental health professionals on TikTok all are very experienced, and talk about a variety of topics to a very large audience, making mental health advice available on a very widespread and mainstream scale.
Especially right now, a lot of people have been struggling with their mental health more than ever before. It could definitely be a good time to check-in with yourself, and listening to the words and advice of TikTok mental health professionals are a very accessible way to do that when you might not be able to talk to someone in person.