Mikey Pearce uploaded a video on Blue Monday featuring YouTubers, such as Joe Sugg, Caspar Lee and Oli White, which saw each of them open up about their mental health.
Mikey introduced the video explaining he wanted to start a conversation around mental health and encouraged viewers to talk more about their feelings and urging them to seek help when they need it. The others then went on to each share about their own mental health, including self-esteem issues, and when they have felt at their lowest.
Joe Sugg shared that he ‘used to be very, very self-conscious about my skin, in particular spots on my skin… but now I don’t mind as much. I learnt that people around you don’t care that much about yourself…they don’t notice the things that you may notice a lot more.’
Oli White shared a time he ‘felt low and felt like giving up’ was when he first began his YouTube channel, as he worked on it for ‘years and years and years’ and ‘never received any following whatsoever’. But what kept him going was ‘seeing creators keep making videos and I thought… I’m just going to keep doing this because I love it, regardless of whether I get followers or subscribers, I’m just going to keep following my dream and doing this because I really genuinely enjoy it’.
Jack Maynard also opened up about his mental health, adding: ‘I think probably the lowest moment for me in my life…was probably in 2017 obviously when I came out of I’m A Celebrity – that was a very, very, very tough time for me. I felt like I’d let a lot of people down, a lot of people were disappointed in me, even like angry at me.’ He went on to say that he felt that a lot of people were against him, and he found that hard to deal with. He shared that what got him through this time was his viewers and the followers who supported him, as well as ‘focusing on getting back to where I was before’, saying that it helped to focus on and achieve goals.
Josh Pieters talked about growing up with red hair, which he found tough as he would get singled out or bullied. But, as he got older, he realised that ‘having a unique colour of hair made me unique, and therefore it was something to be celebrated rather than to be upset about’.
Caspar Lee opened up about beginning his YouTube channel aged 16 and people made fun of him for it. ‘At the time I didn’t want to continue doing it, but looking back I’m so glad I overcame that small obstacle in my life… at the time it wasn’t small, but looking back it feels small, and I just persevered’.
Mikey Pearce shared his own story about his weight, stating that comments in the past have made him feel down, and doubt himself. He says that he learnt to deal with it by not rising to negative comments, and by leaving certain WhatsApp groups. ‘It’s just nice to know that it’s okay to leave a social media group if someone is not treating you very nicely, or if banter is going too far. Speak to them individually and say “look I’m not happy”… it’s not fair to have this sort of banter, and it’s okay to leave a group chat every now and again and speak to someone individually when there are not loads of people around.’ He said he made himself feel better about his weight by learning to have confidence in himself, care less about what other people think, and accept yourself as who you are.
Poet Hussain Manawer opened up the conversation by emphasizing the importance of speaking out. He discussed his self-consciousness surrounding his hair and his journey to self-acceptance. He also closed the video introducing a poem collectively written by everyone featured in the video and saying: ‘Everybody’s going through something we know nothing about. It’s really important that we be kind and supportive to each other, to really help one another get through life’.
Mikey uploaded his video on ‘Blue Monday’, which is commonly known as ‘the most depressing day of the year’, partly due to the cold and dark weather and the post-Christmas financial period. He noted in the description that the video’s AdSense money would be donated to UK mental health charity Young Minds.
Mikey Pearce, Josh Pieters, Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee have all been confirmed as appearing at VidCon London in February. Have a read here about who else has been announced. Or more about the event here.
You can also read here about how Joe Sugg and Oli White have also been shortlisted for the Social Media Superstar award, as part of The Global Awards 2019.