A woman tests out mental health advice she finds on the internet. All of it.

Self-help lists are great. Seeing them in action? Even better.

There's no shortage of self-help lists out there on the internet (and even this website). What's interesting, however, is that many of us don't actually get to see the suggestions in action.

So New Zealand woman Beth Humphrey came up with something a little different — the Great Mental Health Experiment.

All GIFs from My Beth Friend/YouTube.


Here's how it works: Every week, Beth takes a tip designed to reduce stress, take care of yourself, and just generally exist, and she puts it to the test.

And the best part? She's capturing it all on camera.

"I think people love to learn new things, but they want to learn in a way that is fun, personal, and easy to digest," she said. "I think the reason people are so drawn to these kinds of videos is that they are short, interesting, and to the point."

When it comes to mental health, your mileage may vary — and Beth understands that.

There's no one-size-fits-all fix for things like depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness. For some, the answers may lie in pharmaceuticals; for others, diet or exercise. That's part of what makes Beth's series so interesting: It's her trying to figure out what works for her.

"All the reactions, feelings, and reflections are all me! I'm not trying to sell these tips, but rather, testing them and giving my opinion," she says. "My experience will be different to someone else's, and that's cool!"

For example, the first video in the series follows Beth as she sees how something like baking affects her mood.

Other videos show her doing distress tolerance exercises...

...getting more sleep ...


...and experimenting a bit with animal therapy — all with varying levels of success (and that's kind of the point).


These types of open discussions help fight some of the stigma that goes along with addressing mental health issues and being willing to seek help.

And when it comes to her videos, Beth hopes to open up that gateway of conversation between friends, family, and medical professionals.

"I believe that my videos normalize mental health and create a healthy way to have conversation[s], bring awareness and teach new skills for those who may be struggling. Even if that’s just simply, 'Hey, I’m here, I know what you are going through, and here’s some things that might help.'"

It's an exercise in building empathy.

"So many people still believe that asking for help means you are soft or weak," she says. "And my response to that is: Be vulnerable! Talking about your feelings is not something to be ashamed of."


Still, that stigma exists. In 1996, a survey conducted by the National Mental Health Association found that 54% of people "think of depression as a sign of personal or emotional weakness." Years later, survey numbers are still pretty (no pun intended) depressing.

While Beth's Great Mental Health Experiment rolls on (check out her channel every Tuesday for a new episode), you can start your very own version.

No, maybe you won't gather a crew and document this on video (you're certainly welcome to, though!), but you can take some tips and put them into action.

For example, here's a great list of four tips for calming down. Here's a list of 13 things to do if someone you love lives with depression. Here's one with six top-notch tips for getting yourself out of a creative rut. And here's a list of three ways to become a more confident person.

Will everything on any of those lists work for you? Probably not. Still, if you find one thing that helps make your life less stressful and more enjoyable, isn't it all worth it?


Family

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture