99 Problems, Mental Health Doesn’t Have to Be One

Taking matters to social mediaAn IG Hustle for the Greater Good

27 April 2021 | Youth

PULL QUOTE: “Dealing with a mental illness and still trying to live through life makes you a much stronger person.” Britney Kotzeé

Jeanette Diergaardt

Does joining Instagram for a healthy mental state sound absurd to you? Hopefully not for too long…

Britney Kotzeé and Cinde-Lee Koopman, fourth-year psychology students, started an initiative on Instagram to actively help their fellow peers with mental health issues - the same issues that are so easily picked up on social media in general.

Various studies directly correlate mental health decline to an increase in social media usage. One study specifically, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2017, made the deduction that clicking ‘like’ on certain posts will lead to an approximately 10% decline to your normal mental health state.

Addiction, depression, privacy, fake… and the list of negative words linked with social media goes on. Britney and Cinde-Lee two one of the few who are trying to change the narrative. These two are real psychology students, really young, experiencing real problems they are faced with as adolescents.

“It is important that we acknowledge that mental health issues are evident and affect each one of us; we need to break the chain of division and disunity,” says Cinde-Lee Koopman.

Beginning Stages

Changing the world and disrupting societal structures and beliefs are dreams of many that only a few get to accomplish.

The heart-warming initiative started in 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown. According to Cinde-Lee, God opened their eyes to see how many people were struggling with mental health issues on a daily basis. This further encouraged them to continue with their goodwill.

Instagram

On Instagram the girls can be found at @self.edpsychology. By the look of things, the page promises to be filled with colourful designs illustrating the various mental health issues, their causes and how to cope with them. The first IGTV video is an introduction to what they will be doing and what we can look forward to.

They believe that mental health is not taken as seriously as it should be in Namibia. Their goal is to create awareness and educate the public on mental health.

Support System

The parents of both of the girls fully support their initiative although they grew up in an era where mental health was not at the forefront of their worries.

“Mental health is a relatively modern concept. Back in the day we did not give enough attention to it,” says Leon Koopman, father of Cinde-Lee, who fully supports his daughter’s initiative and sees the value in what she does.

Francis Kotzeé, mother of Britney says, “It is okay to not be okay.” According to her when she was younger it was considered a disgrace to go to a phycologist. Francis is also of the opinion that if people are more aware of their mental state there would be less divorces in a country.

Close and Personal

As with many adolescents what we had in mind for ourselves is not what we eventually become. Britney wanted to be a detective when she grew up but for Cinde-Lee it was a bit easier as her passion was always children. Cinde-Lee finds the human mind extremely interesting and like most young adults Britney is obsessed with coffee.

Be sure to go check out the Instagram page of these two bright young ladies and follow to see them grow.

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