77% of Kenyans on TikTok form meaningful connections and friendships on the app

TikTok, the short-form video platform, continues to make strides in raising awareness about mental health. In its commitment to this important cause, the app has launched a research survey in line with its multi-market campaign, #MentalHealthAwareness: Better Together. The initiative aims to create a safer and more supportive environment where users can openly discuss their mental health experiences and access guidance.

The platform acknowledges the shifting landscape of mental health discussions, which once carried a stigma but now see a more open dialogue and understanding. Notably, TikTok has witnessed significant engagement on mental health-related content, with hashtags such as #MentalHealth, #SelfCare, and #MentalHealthAwareness collectively amassing over 175 billion views. This highlights TikTok’s role as a platform where individuals share their stories, connect, and support one another through life’s ups and downs.

In an effort to bolster the Better Together” narrative, TikTok conducted an in-app survey in Kenya. The purpose of the survey was to gain insight into the emotions and perceptions of users regarding the platform’s role in combating loneliness and fostering connections. Among the 1,180 TikTok users who participated, it was found that 77% of them have built meaningful connections and/or friendships on TikTok. Furthermore, 77% of the participants stated that they find a sense of belonging on TikTok, while 58% mentioned that using the platform makes them feel less alone.

Lifestyle and wellness content creator Nancy Mumbo (pictured) is dedicated to empowering her viewers to embrace confidence and be comfortable in their own skin. With a strong focus on mental well-being, she advocates for the importance of maintaining a balanced fitness regime and integrating prayer into daily routines. “My top priority is fitness. I started going to a local gym in February, and it’s had a remarkable impact on my mental well-being, helping me stay in shape and remain consistent. Additionally, I make a conscious effort to maintain a balanced diet. I read and journal at least three times a week as a way to connect with my inner self. Prayer is also an essential part of my life and has brought positivity. I listen to self-help podcasts to continuously improve my life. When I overthink, creating content brings solace—it’s genuinely therapeutic, like playing dress-up with my camera.”

Nancy also emphasizes the importance of building community, “When like-minded people gather to share ideas, experiences, and collaborate, it significantly boosts mental well-being. Communities uplift individuals through connections and conversations, offering support during challenging times. They provide benefits beyond mental health, enhancing various aspects of life. Collaboration is key, offering diverse content and potential friendships. Fashion creators, in particular, should unite and collaborate more often, as we all benefit from each other’s support and creativity. We’re not meant to be islands.”

Bianca Sibiya, TikTok’s Head of Content Operations for Sub-Saharan Africa, outlines the campaign’s goals: “TikTok continues to work closely with local and global organisations to provide meaningful resources to support anyone in need of help by implementing dedicated hashtags, in-app content hubs comprising educational materials as part of their ongoing campaign. Communities are invited to come together to encourage positively-driven mental health conversations and social support structures. We are also dedicated to amplifying the voices of advocates and experts, fostering awareness of mental well-being, and ensuring equal access to mental health resources.”

Bonga, a Capital FM Initiative in Kenya, recognises the profound impact that mental health has on individuals, communities, and economies. Through this initiative, people are encouraged to open up and be more honest about their mental well-being. “It is meant to be a safe space where you can share your feelings anonymously without fear of judgement or bullying. When you are not yet ready to share, you are encouraged to empathise and learn from other people’s experiences,” says David Muba, a spokesperson for Bonga.

“We believe that mental health is not a luxury but a fundamental right. Our mission is to empower individuals to prioritise their mental well-being in the digital age. A healthy mind is a foundation for a thriving society, and together, we can create a world where mental health is prioritised, and individuals can flourish in their pursuit of happiness and fulfilment,” Muba adds.

TikTok is dedicated to establishing a safe and inclusive global community. “We employ a comprehensive approach, which involves not only removing harmful content but also connecting users to essential resources,” as explained by Bianca. TikTok’s Community Guidelines strictly prohibit content that promotes self-harm, suicide, or disordered eating. The app automatically directs users searching for content that contravenes these guidelines to safety and support platforms. These platforms offer assistance in overcoming various challenges, providing guidance on topics like gambling support, animal welfare, bullying prevention, digital well-being, and more, including insights from experts in the field. A well-being guide for creators has also been published to facilitate discussions on mental health while upholding a respectful and secure environment.

The convenience of the digital age empowers individuals to seek support and discover helpful strategies from the comfort of their homes. TikTok invites its global community to actively participate in the #MentalHealthAwareness: Better Together campaign by utilising the dedicated hashtag and sharing their stories, tips, and resources.


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