Anyone who has ever watched a TED Talk knows there is a wealth of information in each episode. Sometimes there are so many topics we would like to learn about, but not enough time to actually sit down and watch them all. For those who are interested in the topic of mental health, below are the 10 most riveting TED talks I have come across to date. The topics are quite diverse which helps create a well-rounded view of mental illness, and assists those who are trying to better understand mental health as a whole.
Shane Koyczan “To This Day… For the Bullied and Beautiful”
Shane Koyczan is a poet who is well known for writing “To This Day” a moving poem about bullying that to date has received over 22 million views on YouTube. In this TED Talk he discusses the difficulties of growing up, and what it was like being bullied as a child.
Andrew Solomon “Depression, the Secret we Share”
Andrew Solomon is a famous and talented writer. In this TED Talk he eloquently discusses his dark and painful first hand experience with depression which led him to interview people with depression all over the world.
Brene Brown “The Power of Vulnerability”
Brene Brown is a qualitative researcher who specializes in vulnerability and shame. She speaks about human connection and her own experience with learning how to embrace shame and vulnerability.
Eleanor Longden “The Voices in my Head”
Eleanor Longden is a research psychologist who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in college. She talks about her diagnosis, her experience with the health care system, and her journey through recovery.
Temple Grandin “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds”
Temple Grandin is a famous autism activist who has been diagnosed with autism herself. She discusses how the skills that people with autism have are as valuable to society as people who are neurotypical. She explains how her strength is that she “thinks in pictures.”
Sherwin Nuland “How Electroshock Therapy Changed Me”
Dr. Nuland is a surgeon and author who discusses the history of how electroshock therapy came to be. He explains in detail how electroshock therapy helped treat his severe, debilitating depression, and how he got a second chance at life.
Jeremy Forbes “How to Start a Conversation About Suicide”
Mr. Forbes is a tradesman, and talks about his personal experience with a friend who committed suicide. He discusses the difficulty men face due to the societal expectation of men being “macho” and stoic when it comes to adversity. He encourages men to discuss mental health and started an organization that raises awareness about mental health and focuses on suicide prevention.
Hector Garcia “We Train Soldiers for War. Let’s Train Them to Come Home, Too.”
Hector Garcia is a psychologist who specializes in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He discusses the importance of training veterans to transition from combat back into civilian life. He advocates using the same principles that are used to train soldiers for war to help them when they return home.
Kevin Breel “Confessions of a Depressed Comic”
Kevin Breel is a comedian, writer, and mental health activist. In this TED Talk he discusses his struggle with depression and near suicide attempt. He discusses the importance of being open about mental health, particularly when it comes to depression. He is the author of Boy Meets Depression: Or Life Sucks and Then You Live.
Justin Baldoni “Why I’m Done Trying to be ‘Man Enough’”
Justin Baldoni is a famous actor who plays Rafael in the hit television series Jane the Virgin. In this presentation he talked openly about his struggle with masculinity and vulnerability, and to redefine what it means to be “man enough.”