There is so much misinformation on the internet about Mental Health, it is hard to know what to trust. Even if a page references a reliable source, they may still be misportraying the details. The stigma against Mental Health thrives on public misunderstanding; sharing these inaccurate articles doesn't benefit everyone and actively harms those with Mental Illness by dehumanising and demonising them.
If you read something new on the internet it always best to check it before believing it. Here are our tips and recommendations! All external links are in italics and will open in a new tab; Speak holds no liability for any problems once you leave our page.
Properly checking sources takes a long time, a quicker alternative is searching the source on Media Bias/Fact Check. They rate sources based on factual accuracy, bias, use of sources and references to conspiracies/pseudosciences. The best sources are labelled "PRO-SCIENCE", otherwise look for sources with high or very high factual accuracy and minimal bias. They have analysed most major sources, but don't expect them to have everything.
There are signs that a source is, or isn't, reliable; here are a few of them;
Clear motive - if they are trying to get you to click, buy or support something then it likely isn't reliable
Is it being reported elsewhere? Real news tends to be reported
Use of emotionally loaded words - this suggests a source is biased; a good source presents the facts with a logical discussion, they don't try play on your emotions. Reliable sources sometimes use slightly dramatic headlines; however, if you think it's too much, the source is likely fake. They may also use excessive capitals and dramatic punctuation!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Website suffix ".ac.uk" - this is reserved for academic institutions so tends to be reliable. This isn't a hard rule so be sure to do further checks.
The content conforms to a stereotype - very few stereotypes are accurate, often these articles are written by someone with an alternative agenda
They claim causation - imagine the clichéd (and very debunked) "Vaccines Cause Autism"; it is very difficult to prove causation in science, and virtually impossible in psychiatry. Reliable sources might claim that A may cause B, but almost never claim they have irrefutable proof.
Look for obvious errors - spelling, grammar, incorrect application of terminology or just plain stupidity; a good source has been checked and double-checked
Who is the author? A quick google search should tell you who they are, their track record, whether they have ulterior motives and if they are qualified to discuss this
Do they reference reliable sources? All good articles reference several other experts and pieces of research, not just their own findings/beliefs. If they try using just logic it is likely wrong; the human mind is not logical, without research we cannot come to a solid conclusion.
List of Reliable Sources
These are a few reliable sources for Mental Health. There are many more, we intend to add to this list over time. We would like to make it clear that we do not endorse several of the charities listed below for numerous reasons, such as unnecessary or wasteful spending, excessive salaries and toxic workplace cultures. Nonetheless, they have accurate and valuable resources which may be of help.
For the diagnostic criteria, the best resources are the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). There are several differences, but both contain useful information. In the UK we use ICD-10 for diagnoses (ICD-11 comes out in 2022).
National Health Service - contains advice and services available. For Mental Health crises they have a separate page.
Has a wide range of psychological literature by professionals and academics, including much on Mental Health, as well as advice on coping with Mental Illness and seeking help.
Devoted to all things Mental Health, many detailed articles written by professionals
Medical information created by Journalists, reviewed by Doctors
Non-profit research clinic, resources on a range of illnesses
Resources and Help focussed on Mental Health in under-18s
Articles on different aspects of Mental Health
Information and Support on Mental Illnesses