During the pandemic, people have turned to social media to reach out to those they are unable to see.
While many have enjoyed staying in the loop on social media, studies have shown that excessive use can fuel feelings of anxiety and depression.
During Mental Health Awareness Month this May, it is more important than ever to seek support.
Paramedic Laura Health, explained how social media has been a ‘blessing and a curse at the same time’.
Laura grew a large following after being trolled for a photo she posted of her at work back in March 2020.
She received a lot of coverage for being ‘the paramedic who received hateful comments for wearing makeup to work’.
The 25-year-old from Staffordshire, said: “I can remember waking up and sitting on the sofa crying uncontrollably.
“I went into such a dark place where I didn’t even want to get up out of bed.
“I always say social media is like a blessing and a curse at the same time, especially during the pandemic.
“There is an extremely toxic side to social media and it can quite easily consume you.”
After her ordeal, Laura got in contact with Cybersmile UK to tackle the problem around trolling and online bullying.
The Cybersmile Foundation is an award-winning organisation that is committed to digital wellbeing and tackling all forms of bullying and abuse.
Laura took part in a charity skydive to mark World Mental Health Day in 2020, raising more than £2,500.
She added: “I wanted to raise money for a charity that deals with online harassment and bullying as Cybersmile helped me.”
Laura now uses her platform as a mental health advocate helping to reduce stigma by sharing her personal experiences.
She said: “I think personally from my experience is to try and not get so fixated on the world of social media because it can look a lot like reality.
“A lot of us are searching for something which is not real, causing a massive impact on our mental health.”
Laura now works with other mental health charities and has set up a blog to help reduce the stigma of the topic.
A spokesperson for Wimbledon Wednesday group, offering support for mental health, said: “It takes a long time for someone to come to a group and get to that stage where they feel comfortable.
“If somebody can talk and somebody can listen, it is so important.
“People should listen to understand instead of listening to respond.
“It’s important to sit down and not be dismissive of what somebody is going through.”