Why You Should Take Influencers’ Mental Health Advice With a Grain of Salt

mobile phone

Maybe you’ve been struggling with your mental health. You haven’t booked a session with a therapist due to fears of stigma, financial reasons, or simply because you’ve encountered long wait lists. 

In the meantime, you’ve been following influencers who post mental health advice. It might seem like they have some solid tips, even though they are not professional therapists. Perhaps you’ve picked up some positive habits from their content, like meditation or journaling. 

It’s best to be cautious about taking mental health advice from influencers on social media, even if their posts come across as sincere or sound like it applies to your situation. Here’s why you should always take mental health tips from influencers with a grain of salt.

You Can’t See What’s Happening Behind The Scenes

Social media serves as a highlight reel for influencers. You might come across a post with mental health tips on the feed of someone who seems like they’re living your dream life. It’s easy to connect the two and assume that if only you followed their advice, you would also get to live a similar life or make similar changes. However, keep in mind that influencers rarely post negative content. You never know what’s happening behind the scenes in their lives or how their lives have truly changed. Just because someone’s life looks appealing on social media does not mean that you should be taking mental health advice from them.

They Likely Don’t Have Professional Credentials

A licensed therapist has specific credentials. At the very least, they hold a Masters degree from an accredited institution of higher education. They may have a doctorate, but they will definitely have specific and ongoing mental health training. Some therapists obtain certifications in multiple therapeutic specialties. No matter what, they all have to complete clinical hours with clients as part of their licensure process before they can practice on their own. Influencers simply don’t have these credentials. They are not just pieces of paper. These credentials demonstrate that your therapist has a robust body of practical knowledge when it comes to counselling and psychology. 

You Don’t Know Where They Get Their Information

A particular mental health tip might sound accurate, but do you know where the influencer got this information? Chances are, they did not find their tips in peer-reviewed studies, nor did they gather these insights from working firsthand with clients in a clinical setting. If you don’t know where the information is coming from, you can’t assess whether or not it’s true. Their life experience, journey, and learning, although it may sound similar to yours, will still be a completely different experience than your own. In a therapeutic setting, your therapist will take into consideration your unique set of circumstances, experiences, and needs when working on a treatment plan for you. That’s not the case when someone is dolling out generalist advice on social media.

This Advice Isn’t Personalized To Your Needs

When you work with a therapist, you won’t just be getting random, feel-good advice. Instead, your therapist will build your treatment plan based on the problems you’ve been dealing with, what you hope to accomplish through therapy in the long run, and your immediate concerns. The advice you see from an influencer’s account will inevitably be generalized to a large audience. It isn’t tailored to you personally, and you don’t know whether or not this advice has a good chance of helping you with your circumstances.

Social Media Content Is Posted For Monetization

Ultimately, an influencer on social media has very different goals from a therapist who is working with you one-on-one. Even though an influencer might post compassionate advice that seems well-meaning, their ultimate goal is simply to post content that will appeal to a large audience for the sake of gaining followers and making more money. On the other hand, a therapist is focused on helping you heal – and although it’s their job, they likely entered into this profession with a passion to help and support people.

Work with Our Onyx Team

Are you disappointed with the mental health advice you’ve heard from influencers? Or maybe it sounds true and sparked an interest in doing some personal and individual work on yourself. You can get the support you need from a qualified and skilled therapist at Onyx. Reach out to us to discuss your options for scheduling a session.

 Influencers’ Mental Health Advice