For so many of us, the endless scroll of the Instagram feed is a temptation we have not the means nor the desire to resist. The glow of the phone screen beckons us at all hours of the day, and naturally we find ourselves giving in, no matter just how hard we might try to busy ourselves and resist. Whether it’s the first thing that greets us in the morning, or the thing we fall asleep to, the highlight reel of other people’s lives has now bled into current events and news, with Instagram becoming less a platform for photo-sharing as it is one of misinformation and filtered faces. It can all seem overwhelming, a distraction from what really matters in life: presence, connection, communication. And if anyone knows this, it’s Tom Holland.
Recently, the actor opened up to his followers about his mental health and why he felt the need to take a break from social media in order to focus on improving his headspace. In a video shared with his 67.7 million followers, Holland expressed: “I have taken a break from social media for my mental health, because I find Instagram and Twitter to be overstimulating, to be overwhelming.”
Holland’s return to social media might seem counterintuitive then, but as the 26-year-old explained, his brief stint on social media was all in the hopes of shining a spotlight on two charities he hoped to introduce to his fans. “On this very, very brief return to Instagram, I thought it would be very important and a good idea to shed some light on a charity that we sponsor which is Stem4.”
“Stem4 is a wonderfully innovative education program. Its pioneering app, clinically advised website and its mental health conferences helped contribute towards helping young kids who were suffering,” said Holland. “Stem4 is one of the many charities @thebrothertrust is extremely proud to support – and I’d like to take a moment to shine a light on their fantastic work.”
He continued, “The Brother Trust is a fundraising vehicle to help raise money so these charities can continue to do the fantastic work that they’re doing. So if you feel so inclined to help us help them and in turn help others, go to our website, buy yourself a T-shirt, all of the money goes to all of the charities that we support.”
While great efforts within the community – both from actors, sports people and others alike – are being done to remove the stigma surrounding mental health, such conversations still need to be given a platform to ensure they continent to happen and aren’t brushed aside. If we took anything away from months spent in lockdown, it’s that mental health is a priority and just like you might go to the gym daily to work on your fitness and muscles, the mind is also one you must work on.
The actor ended his post by telling his fans, “Love to you all, and let’s get talking about mental health.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, help and support is available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or text 0477 131 114 for 24/7 support where you can access confidential one-to-one text with a trained Lifeline supporter.