Earlier this year, College Music approached us with an idea.
Their YouTube channel – which hosts one of the site's two leading lo-fi hip-hop live-streams – attracts a load of students, for an obvious reason: the tunes you'll find on there are the perfect soundtrack to studying.
However, as you'll know if you've ever revised even once, procrastination is much more fun than retaining information. Look at College Music's channel, and it's clear that viewers' favoured method of wasting time is typing away in the chat box. The majority of these messages are perfectly inane. But keep an eye on them and you’ll notice a recurring pattern: viewers talking about how stressed they are, or how depressed they’re feeling, or – in the most extreme cases – how they’re experiencing suicidal thoughts.
With exam season approaching, the frequency of these kind of messages is only likely to increase; in the past, Childline has witnessed a 200 percent increase in young people calling their hotline because of stress related to exams. So, College Music decided they should use their platform to provide this cohort of viewers with some support – and we wanted to use our history and back catalogue of mental health coverage to support that aim.
The plan: since College Music launched, what you’ll have seen if you’ve visited their channel is an animation of "Study Girl" running on an endless loop. In collaboration with the suicide prevention charity the Samaritans, this animation has been reworked, breaking the loop in the hope that it will grab viewers’ attention and direct them here. If you're reading this, hopefully it worked.
Below, you’ll find a selection of VICE's mental health work, which we hope will act as guidance, advice or simply a reminder that you're not alone.
TIPS AND ADVICE
Articles that offer easy-to-absorb mental health advice.
– How to Know If You Need Therapy
– People Tell Us What They Do to Help Their Mental Health
– How to Start Working Out When You Have Anxiety
– How to Get Yourself to Exercise If You're Depressed
– 5 Things That Could Help Your Brain Work Better
– This Is What Your Brain and Body Do When You Hang Out with Animals
– All the Reasons You Shouldn't Drink When You're Depressed
– 5 Realistic Ways to Stop Checking Your Phone All the Time
– How to Look After Your Mental Health During Freshers Week
– How to Talk to Friends About Anxiety, By Guys Who've Been There
Some articles we hope will demonstrate how many people are going through the exact kind of things you're going through.
– I'm Constantly Stressed That My Weekends Aren't Fun Enough
– The More I Allowed Myself to Feel My Anxiety, the Less It Bothered Me
– How Music Helped Me Back from the Edge of Suicide
– This Mental Health Podcaster Told Me How to Deal with the Death of My Friend
– Panic Attacks Aren't the Same for Everyone
– We Asked People How They Deal with Summer Depression
– Partying with Depression Turned My Life Upside Down
– People with Depression Talk About the Moment They Realised Something Was Wrong
In case you fancy some extra reading on the topic.
– The Remarkable Benefits of Cold Water Swimming
– Inside the Work of the Samaritans
– I Took a Social Media Break and You Should Too
– How Giving Up Drink and Drugs in Your Twenties Can Change Your Life
– Green Peace: How Nature Actually Benefits Your Mental Health
– Why Loneliness Affects So Many Young People
FIND HELPLINES BELOW
South Korea – Counsel24 (24/7)
RUSSIA – Samaritans (Mon - Sun. 9AM to 9PM)
Japan – Befrienders Japan (Mon to Fri. 10AM to 5:30PM)
Brazil – Centro de Valorização da Vida (24/7)
France – SOS helpline (Mon-Sun. 3PM to 11PM)
UK – Samaritans (24/7)
Tel: 116 123
Mexico – Saptel (24/7)
Tel: (55) 5259-8121
For more mental health coverage, click here.