Talking about mental health is important, and getting conversations going about what mental illness really is requires opening up. Here are some ideas of places where you can share your mental health story on either an unpaid or paid basis.
While sharing your story may seem daunting initially, it’s a really important way to work on challenging stigma. Starting off by opening up online can be a good place to start before getting more open in real life.
Mental health sites (non-paying)
- A Lust for Life: Irish charity targeting ages 15-24; share your personal story
- Active Minds: Send Silence Packing suicide prevention campaign
- ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America): 500-750 word story of experiences with anxiety or depression
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: publishes posts that educate people about suicide and convey hope/healing/resilience
- Bring Change to Mind: share your personal story in writing or on video
- Choosing Therapy: write about topics like anxiety, OCD, or depression; stories are published anonymously
- Counselling Directory: this UK-based site is looking for stories from people who’ve received support from a counsellor/therapist
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Life Unlimited feature: you can submit a request to be featured; submissions should focus on what the early indications were of your illness, what you’ve had to overcome, or what you’ve learned about yourself
- Disability News Wire letter to the editor: share experiences or knowledge that will be helpful to other people with disabilities
- GoodTherapy: personal experience; story must be 500+ words and original work
- Heads Up Guys: share your recovery story as a man with depression
- How Are You Really?: share your personal experiences
- Like One Another: share your story with a picture or video for Instagram campaign
- MakeItOK: share your experience of stigma and how you overcame it
- Mental Health Stories: more than 250 people have shared their stories on this site run by founder Kay
- Mental Health Talk: share your story and become one of their Superhero bloggers
- MentalHealthPH (Philippines): share a Voice of Hope story
- Mind: This UK-based mental health charity gives you the opportunity to share your story on their site in blog or vlog format, and offers lots of guidance on how to go about it and what to write about.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): share personal stories
- NoStigmas: share your voice in the fight against stigma
- Only Human: share your story freestyle, with prompts, or using video
- Recovery Warriors: stories about your experiences with depression, anxiety, or eating disorders
- SANE: this UK-based mental health charity has monthly blogging themes
- See Me Scotland: share your experience of mental health problems, stigma, and discrimination
- #SickNotWeak: tell your story
- Stigma Fighters: share your personal story of mental illness in 1000 words
- The Mighty: The Mighty is a very popular site with some amazing content
- This Is My Brave: accepts essays, poems, and songs about personal experiences with mental illness
- Unsinkable: participate in their Storyteller Program
- Ability Magazine: focused on disabilities
- Ailment: chronic illness narratives; submission in the fall for yearly prompt-based issue each March
- Capable Magazine: publishes poetry and prose focused on disability/illness
- It’s Real: magazine focused on Asian-American mental health
- Libero Magazine: mental health-focused, has a mailing list notifying writers of upcoming themes
- Monstering Magazine: publishes writing, art, and audio-visual work from female/non-binary people with disabilities
- Open Minds Quarterly: share the experience of life with mental illness, in various forms including non-fiction, fiction, or poetry
- Red Rover: mental health-focused magazine; currently accepting submissions until Oct. 31/22
- Turtle Way: online literary magazine that aims to increase awareness of mental illness and challenge stigma; accepts a variety of formats
Sites that pay for stories
- bphope magazine: pitch an article about bipolar disorder, or apply to be an unpaid guest blogger
- Breath & Shadow (from Ability Maine): publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from writers with disabilities
- Bustle: pitch to their wellness section, which includes mental health topics
- esperanza magazine Hope Essays: publishes personal stories of anxiety or depression, and pays a “modest honorarium”
- Happiful magazine: pitch a mental health article—feature articles are paid, but True Stories are not
- Kaleidoscope: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry on the experiences of disability
- OC87 Recovery Diaries: share your mental health recovery story
- Serotonin: poetry and short prose on mental illness, neurodivergence, and suicide prevention
- Sick: accepts submissions from people with disabilities, and publishes yearly
- The Breakdown: as UK-based online mental health magazine
- The Offing: accepts submissions from writers from marginalized groups, including people with disabilities
- The Sun Magazine: an independent, ad-free magazine; publishes personal essays, fiction, and poetry
When sharing your story specifically for the purpose of challenging stigma, it can be helpful to include certain elements.
- Include both the challenges faced and the recovery journey. Mental illness life involves a lot of getting knocked down, followed by getting back up and carrying on. Don’t ignore the getting back up, but try to shift the emphasis to the getting up part of the story.
- Share how you’ve been affected by stigma and what you were able to do to overcome it.
- Convey that you’re a whole person, not just an illness. Be authentic and let the real you shine through you, including your interests and what’s meaningful in your life.
Sometimes I hear people say they’re reluctant to share their story, whether it’s on their own blog or elsewhere, because there’s already been a lot written by others about their condition. However, your story matters because you matter, and you’re a unique individual. We need people to know that there are many, many different ways to experience mental illness—that includes the way that you experience it.
Now go forth and share your mental health story!
A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing is a mini e-book containing all the knowledge and tricks that I’ve picked up from self-publishing two books. You can find it on the Resources page.