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COVID Survivor Turned Influencer Megan Willman on Mental Health


COVID Survivor Turned Influencer Megan Willman on Mental Health

Since mental health is still stigmatized, Megan strongly believes that content creators should use their platforms to talk about mental health — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Megan Willman turned to content creation after struggling to complete everyday tasks because of COVID. She partnered with Sintillate Talent in November 2022 and now uses her platform to advocate the importance of mental health.  

COVID took a toll on Megan Willman’s health. But instead of letting that experience stop her from doing more, she used it to become a content creator. Today, Megan uses her platform to share the importance and advocate positive mental health.

About Megan Willman

Megan Willman is a Minneapolis-based content creator focusing on mental health awareness. Her experience with COVID fueled her to continue working in the mental health field. 

As per Megan, how she got into content creation wasn’t a choice per se. She used her platform to get back on track after COVID, got involved with Sintillate Talent, and the partnership took off. 

She explains, “It kind of worked, and I’ve always been super involved in telling people where I get my stuff. So I just felt like it would be a good way to start that.” 

Balancing the Demands of Being a Content Creator and Taking Care of Her Mental Health

Megan Willman admits that she’s still learning about this aspect. She continues, “The most important thing is making sure that I have time without my phone and time to focus on myself because you’re getting so much from the world outside of you that you need that time to step back, focus on you, and the things you need to do to take care of yourself.”

Dealing With Criticism and Negativity Online

Luckily for Megan Willman, she hasn’t experienced receiving too much criticism and negativity online. But she knows that it will not stay this way forever. 

“You have to take it with a grain of salt because I feel like a lot of people on the other end clearly don’t know that we’re people too, and they see these images and forget that we have these whole lives behind our images.”

She admits that times get hard but understands that criticism and negativity from online users are part of the reason why she’s doing what she’s doing. 

She explains, “I have a voice at this point, and I have to use that voice to let other people see that they’re not alone, that there are other people dealing with the same stuff.”

The Role of Content Creators in Promoting Positive Mental Health

Since mental health is still stigmatized, Megan believes that content creators should use their platforms to talk about mental health — the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

She explains further, “With the onset of COVID, and I had a very rapid weight loss, which led to me having medication issues, I just felt so alone last year. And I don’t want other people to feel that way. So, I really use my platform to talk about mental health.”

She adds that content creators using their platforms to promote and understand mental health is important as anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues aren’t talked about like physical health issues. 

What Content Creators Can Do About Mental Health Issues

Megan Willman answers this question with one word: conversation. 

“Content creators should work on destigmatizing the notion of mental illness because it has been around since language, and it’s not going away, unfortunately. There are a lot of studies showing that mental illness is getting worse.”

And Megan is absolutely right. According to the World Health Organization, mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. 

As such, she believes that it’s important now more than ever for content creators to use their voices to talk about mental illness and explain to people about different symptoms, so people can check in on themselves. 

How Megan Uses Her Platform for Positive Change 

Megan uses her platform to talk about different topics on mental health but focuses on her story with COVID and mental illness last year. 

She shares with her followers the changes she experienced, including losing 110 pounds. She also uses that experience to talk about body positivity and confidence. 

She added, “I talk about different symptoms, warnings, and triggers of anxiety or depression, or what to do when you feel frustrated. There’s so much information out there that I’m sharing with my story.”

Megan has a mental health highlight on her Instagram profile, where people can  see UK and US hotlines for mental health emergencies. This is Megan’s way of providing resources to people who need help with their mental health, as some people don’t know where to look.

“It’s very hard and debilitating, and it’s easier that information is right there for people.”

Megan’s Learnings on Mental Health Through her Journey as a Content Creator

Megan admits that although she’s new to content creation, she has already learned a lot about mental health. Additionally, she points out that many content creators are still not talking about mental health; for them, it’s all about the brand deals.

“When we have the power to manipulate our images and words, I just think it’s important to be careful and let people understand that there are bigger pictures than just the brand deals and the content.” 

In short, Megan believes that content creators have the power to make a difference.

She admits that people reaching out to her, telling her how her story helped them in some way, contributed to her growth as a content creator. 

Megan’s Most Popular Content

In terms of engagement, Megan’s post highlighting her story with COVID gained more than 1,800 likes. Megan explains further that the post was all about detailing how her body changed after she got COVID and how it has been a journey.

“I have to continue to be honest. Yes, I look good in these images, or I look healthier, but in a lot of ways, I’m struggling even more than I did the first year of COVID.”

Megan’s Advice for Aspiring Content Creators in Managing Mental Health While Building Career Online 

Megan has two pieces of advice for aspiring creators: have a set time every day where it’s just you — no content creation or deadlines — and not get caught up with the negativity of social media.

She adds, “It’s important to take time to do a self-care activity that works for you, whether that’s meditating, taking a bath, or skincare routine, and use that time to evaluate the things going on in your life and the things you want to improve.”

What’s Next for Megan

In the future, Megan wants to push the mental health envelope further. She believes content creators should take a bigger stance on things that matter — and for her, it has always been about mental health. 

“I’ve known since I was a kid that I want to work in the mental health field. And just because I don’t have the working ability to do that right now because of my health doesn’t mean that I can’t do that in other ways. So being an influencer and using my platform is definitely the way to do that right now.”  

karina gandola

Karina Gandola was born and raised outside the city of Charleston, in the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia. Karina loves writing about the influencer marketing space and an area she is passionate about. She considers her faith and family to be most important to her. If she isn’t spending time with her friends and family, you can almost always find her around her sweet yellow Labrador retriever, Poshna.

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