6 Must Watch Ted Talks About Mental Health

There are two things in this world that inspire me:  A good glass of Vino and Ted Talk’s on mental health.  These listed Ted Talk’s helped me come forward about my own diagnosis of Bipolar II disorder.  Each Talk is completely different, and gives you a separate outlook on mental illness.  You won’t regret watching!  I would love to hear your comments about these Ted Talks.  I hope some of you can find useful information, and a little bit of inspiration from these unbelievable individuals.

This Ted Talk is by far my favorite!  Saks is diagnosed with Chronic Schizophrenia.  She shares her story about living with Schizophrenia, time spent institutionalized and the progress she has made over the last 30 years.  I have watched this Ted Talk multiple times. Saks is one of my greatest role models, and she gives hope to everyone who has ever been told they are incapable of success.  She is a true bad ass!

“The doctors gave me a prognosis of “grave.”  At best to live in a Board and Care, and work menial jobs.  Fortunately, I did not enact that “grave” prognosis.  Instead, I am a Chair Professor of Law, Psychology and Psychiatry at the USC Gould School of Law.  I have many close friends, and a beloved husband, Will, who is here with us today.  He is the star of my show.”-Elyn Saks


This is a great Ted Talk, with great advice for anyone who is struggling with a suicidal family member or friend.  Kevin Briggs gives an emotional talk about the suicides that occur on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.  Briggs tells the story of his time as a California Highway Patrol Officer in charge of the Golden Gate Bridge, and what he learned about suicide.

“What would you do if your friend or family member is suicidal?  What would you say?…In my experience it is not just the talking you do, but the listening.  Listen to understand, don’t argue, don’t blame or tell the person ‘you know how they feel’…just by being there, you just may be the turning point they need.”-Kevin Briggs


I love this woman and this Ted Talk!  Ruby Wax adds humor to her struggle with Depression, while emphasizing the need to reduce the stigma on mental illness.  I believe, it is important to add humor to such a serious topic, it helps people to relax and become more open about the issue.

She refers to the inmates she was institutionalized with as “her tribe.”


This Ted Talk relayed information that I was completely oblivious to.  Thomas Insel uses his ‘doctorish swagger’ to relay facts about mental illness, and suicide, while encouraging viewers to comprehend the need for mental health awareness in society.

“Understanding mental illness allows us to treat it.”-Thomas Insel


This Ted Talk is one of my favorites. It gives a more global perspective on the mental health crisis.  Patel makes it clear, the United States is not the only country that stigmatizes mental illness.

“It might surprise some of you here, as it did me, to discover that suicide is at the top of the list of the leading causes of death among young people in all countries of the world, including the poorest countries in the world.”-Vikram Patel


This Ted Talk is actually a Ted Talk Audition, but Comedian Joshua Walters makes it worthwhile.  He uses humor to share his story about his diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and the moment he thought he was “Jesus Christ.”

“I used my mental illness, to embrace my mental “stillness.”-Joshua Walters







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