EL PASO, Texas-- Everyday millions of users log on to Tik Tok to upload short form videos, ranging from dance moves to comedy. One El Paso woman is using the platform to spark up an important conversation, one revolving around mental health.
“I know that Tik Tok is a well known platform and I got on there to talk about my story with no expectations from anyone. It started to become kind of like an outlet and then with time, people started to relate. It inspired me to continue to hope to save someone one day,” Tik Toker Jordan Orozco said.
Orozco's path towards becoming an advocate for mental health was paved through her own experiences with clinical depression. The 25-year-old Speech Pathologist and Social Media Influencer, has battled through dark times in her past, and she tells ABC-7 that talking about these issues is the first step towards getting better.
“I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me that were on the verge of suicide and have told me 'your video, your message literally saved me, and because of you I am going to go get help,'” Orozco said.
Orozco has amassed more than 200,000 followers on Tik Tok, and gained more than 3 million views since she began posting on the platform. She tells ABC-7 that her message is received by younger viewers, the same ones that may not feel comfortable speaking to adults about these topics. While her viewers may be teens and young adults, she hopes her message will be universal.
“Mental illness knows no gender, no race, no ethnicity or religion. Everyone can struggle with it, anyone can walk outside and wear a mask and blend in with everyone else,” Orozco said. “It takes strength to dig deep and share these messages. I will admit sometimes it is emotionally taxing, but at the end of the day this is helping someone,” Orozco said.
While mental health experts don't recommend relying only on social media for mental health advice, they do see the importance in reaching a younger audience.
“The first thing is to validate you. When people feel validated, they feel understood. They can develop trust that is the first step, when you develop that trust and you feel safe you can share that information that my seem so overwhelming for you to deal on your own, and trust me - there is help,” said Dr. Angel Marcelo Rodriguez Cheverez, the chief medical officer for Emergence Health Network.
Emergence Health Network is open and willing to help anyone struggling with their mental health, regardless of a person's financial situation. They provide counseling and help, even to those who are uninsured. Anyone looking for more information on the organization should click on this link.
Anyone having a mental health emergency should contact the national suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-8255.