13 Best Ted Talks About Mental Health

ted talk about mental health and social media

TED Talks are great. They’re motivating, inspiring, and unforgettable. TED Talks are available on practically any topic, including mental health.

Hearing someone speak about their own mental health issues has a more significant impact than reading about them in a blog post. These speakers inspire their listeners to be more hopeful and driven than ever. 

What is a Ted Talk?

A TED Talk showcases speakers presenting great, well-formed ideas in under 18 minutes.

We have sourced the best ted talks about mental health for you.

Here are the 13 best Ted talks about mental health for you in no particular order-

1. Guy winch: Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

Guy Winch states in this TED Talk that people go to the doctor when they are unwell, but they don’t seek help until they are in extreme emotional pain, such as shame, hurt, or loneliness.

He discusses the following topics in his talk:

  • Why is it so common for people to deal with psychological problems independently?
  • The convincing case for practicing emotional hygiene is treating our emotions and thoughts with the same care we give our bodies.
  • How loneliness can cause a psychological wound that is difficult to heal.
  • The importance of understanding how our minds react to failure.

2. Faith Jegede: What I have learned from my autistic brothers

Faith Jegede discusses her tale of growing up with two autistic brothers who are exceptional in her TED Talk.

She discusses the following topics in her talk:

  • Why everyone should strive to live an extraordinary life.
  • Faith would not want normality to compromise her sense of self-identity, communication, or love.
  • The importance of having our own unique talents and characteristics. Differentiation does not imply that one of us is wrong; it simply means that we have different kinds of rights.

3. Thomas Insel: Toward a new understanding of mental illness

In this TED Talk, Thomas Insel emphasizes the need for early identification and prevention in treating mental illness. 

He discusses the following topics in his talk:

  • Mental disorders and illnesses of the mind.
  • Depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia are examples of brain disorders.
  • The last thing to change is behavior when it comes to brain problems. Why do we always overestimate when the change will happen and underestimate how much change will happen?

4. Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?

In this TED Talk, Russell Foster, a Circadian neuroscientist, analyses the brain’s sleep cycles and their importance in our lives. He discusses three prevalent views in his talk:

  • We sleep for a reason.
  • Myths regarding the amount of sleep we require.
  • Sleep may be used as a predictor of mental health in several novel ways.

5. Kevin Briggs: The bridge between suicide and life

Kevin Briggs, a Golden Gate guardian who retired from the California Highway Patrol after 23 years of service, gives this TED Talk.

In this discussion, Briggs emphasizes the need to do the following while dealing with suicidality:

  • Don’t simply talk; listen as well.
  • Listening alone isn’t enough; you also have to understand.
  • Don’t fight, accuse, or reassure the person that you know their feelings.

6. Joshua Walters: On being just crazy enough

In this TED Talk, Joshua Walters, a bipolar comic, treads the boundary between mental illness and mental skillfulness.“What’s the right balance between medicating craziness away and riding the manic edge of creativity and drive?” he wonders.

Joshua discusses the following topics in this talk:

  • Your determination to achieve something that others have told you is impossible.
  • Manic – not full-blown bipolar, where you believe you’re Jesus on the one hand and make a lot of money on the other.
  • Being diagnosed with a mental health problem does not imply that you are insane; it just means that you are sensitive to things that most people cannot see or feel.

7. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz: What veterinarians know that physicians don’t

In her TED Talk, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz discusses how a species-spanning approach to Health can improve medical care for humans, particularly when it comes to mental health. 

She talks about:

  • The distinction between treating an animal with medication and treating a human sickness.
  • How doctors and veterinarians treat the same problems in their animal and human patients – CHF, brain tumors, leukemia, and even psychological syndromes such as sadness, anxiety, and compulsions.
  • The therapeutic approach of doctors vs. the holistic approach of veterinarians.
  • Doctors whose patients aren’t humans are practicing some of the best and most humanistic medicine.

8. JD Schramm: Break the silence for suicide attempt survivors

In this TED Talk, JD Schramm begs us to break the silence surrounding suicide and suicide attempts and establish much-needed services to assist those who reclaim their lives after narrowly avoiding death. 

He breaks the silence of suicide survivors by discussing the following topics:

  • His life was going great, but he was still dealing with addiction and sadness despite all the prospects.
  • How once someone commits to putting their lives back together — physically, emotionally, and spiritually – there are very few options accessible for someone who has attempted to terminate their life.
  • The significance of seeking assistance and that things will get better — much better.

9. Ami Klin: A new way to diagnose autism

Ami Klin, an autism researcher, describes a new early detection technique that employs eye-tracking technologies to test babies’ social engagement skills and accurately predict their likelihood of developing autism in this TED Talk.

He discusses the following topics in this talk:

  • What exactly is autism?
  • Autism’s origins can be traced back to the beginning of life.
  • New eye-tracking technologies and metrics have been developed.
  • How some people excel in certain areas of their strengths, such as artistic ability.

10. Andrew Solomon: Love no matter what

In this TED Talk by Andrew Solomon, Andrew asks what the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance is?

He discusses the following topics in this talk:

How much unconditional love can there be even when everything appears to be going wrong?

  • What are the different levels of unconditional acceptance?
  • The thrill of unfathomable responsibility and how it triumphs over all else.

“The love you have for your children is like no other feeling in the world. And until you have children, you don’t know what it’s like,” he explains.

11. Vikram Patel: Mental health for all by involving all

In this TED Talk, Vikram Patel, a mental health advocate, discusses a promising approach to mental health by teaching community members to provide mental health interventions and empowering regular people to care for others. 

Vikram discusses the following topics in this talk:

  • Why is suicide the leading cause of death among young people in every country?
  • What exactly is DALY?
  • The advantages of task shifting are that you may use whoever is available in the community and train them to perform a variety of healthcare interventions.

12. Laurel Braitman: Depressed dogs, cats with OCD- what animal madness means for us humans

In this TED Talk, Laurel Braitman examines what we may learn from observing animals deal with depression, sadness, and other all-too-human issues.

Laurel discusses the following topics in this talk:

  • How she learned that animals may be affected by mental illness.
  • How attempting to diagnose mental illness in animals can help us be better friends with them while also understanding ourselves better.
  • Why are fear and anxiety such beneficial animal emotions?

Compulsive behavior in dogs can manifest in a variety of ways, some of which are amusing.

The significance of seeing organisms as individuals with their own weather systems guiding their behavior and shaping how they respond to the world.

13. Eleanor Longden: The voices in my head

Eleanor Longden tells the emotional story of her years-long journey back to mental Health in this TED Talk and points out that she could survive by learning to listen to her voice.

She talks about:

  • How her voice aided her in communicating distant and unreachable feelings.
  • Her trembling vocals were a symptom of her anxiety.

According to her, her mental illness was a significant reaction to harsh life circumstances.

How the human-animal has an intrinsic ability to heal and how the intellectual soul can use this ability.


Depression, schizophrenia, and suicide thoughts—all too often, these sentiments are kept hidden. The above speakers bravely relate their own experiences with mental illness in to hope that you would not feel so alone.

If you think your mental health issues are increasing to an extreme level, you can go for online therapies.

Do tell us in the comment section which speaker you found best.

Please feel free to bookmark this page, take your time going through them and share them with friends.

Every week, keep an eye out for our mental health blogs.

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