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Mental Health Content Writing [Best Practices and Ethical Considerations]

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TrioSEO - Connor Gillivan

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Even though 1 in 8 individuals live with a mental disorder, the topic of mental health remains highly stigmatized. Given this, there’s a growing need for mental health content on the Internet to spread awareness and support those who need it the most.

In this guide, we’ll cover all the ins and outs of mental health content writing – from writing guidelines to best SEO practices. Let’s begin!

At TrioSEO, we offer content writing services with our team of expert writers who can craft the content you need to generate qualified leads and traffic. Our writers conduct deep research on several fields, mental health included, to deliver impactful and insightful content.

If that’s what you’re looking for, schedule a call with TrioSEO today!

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How is Writing Different in the Mental Health Niche?

Writing content specifically for the mental health niche requires a unique approach due to its sensitive nature.

Here are some of the key differences compared to writing in other niches:

  • Empathy and Sensitivity: Writing for mental health requires a great deal of empathy and sensitivity for individuals’ struggles. You must approach topics with compassion and avoid judgmental language.

  • Complexity: Mental health is a broad and complex topic. Credible resources must back up anything claimed as misinformation can be extremely harmful.. Before publishing content, writers must do thorough research.

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Role of Content Writing in Mental Health Advocacy

Everyone consumes content in one form or another. People love to scroll for hours watching 30-second TikToks or scanning through endless Instagram posts. But if a form of content creation is here to stay and has been here for the longest time, it’s content writing.

We cannot discount the role of content writing in mental health advocacies for various reasons:

1. Depth of Understanding

For many years, society has stigmatized the topic of mental health. That’s why there seem to be plenty of misconceptions surrounding it.

Content writing helps writers explain the complex concept of mental health in-depth, allowing more people to understand the subject comprehensively.

2. Personal Connection

While educating your audience is a significant part of your mental health advocacy, building a personal connection with them is just as important. That way, your writing makes a bigger impact and is likelier to stick with them.

If you have personal stories, experiences, and perspectives to share, it adds a layer of authenticity to your advocacy efforts. 

3. Community Building

There is power in building strong communities; content writing can help turn this into reality.

With excellent content writing, you build connections, encourage dialogue, and create a sense of belonging within a community.

4. Representation

People need representation to feel seen, heard, and validated in their experiences. When writers craft content on mental health, they represent people of different backgrounds and experiences – helping them feel included and understood.

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Writing Guidelines and Ethics to Consider

Considering the guidelines and ethics you must consider, mental health content writing can get tricky.

Take note of the following:

1. Provide Resources

Your content is merely a vessel through which individuals can access information, guidance, and support in their mental health journey.

Offer links to helplines, educational websites, and other resources to help your audience take proactive steps towards healing and self-care.

If the helplines are relevant to your content, you can share the following as an example (for the United States only):

  • 988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-366-8288
  • The Lifeline Chat
  • 7Cups

2. Use Credible Sources

When doing your research, using reputable sources is an absolute must. Your content can shape the mindsets of individuals, so ensure that the information you provide is accurate and evidence-based. Remember always to double-check and even triple-check.

3. Rethink Your Purpose

It can be tempting to write attention-grabbing headlines for the mere purpose of entertainment and garnering more views. While prioritizing engagement is a plus, the mental health space does not purely align with this approach.

Behind every mental health story, there are people – people whose experiences deserve respect and empathy. Content creators must prioritize well-being and dignity above all else.

4. Respect for Privacy and Confidentiality

When sharing stories of other individuals, avoid using identifying details without permission and adhere to confidentiality guidelines.

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Best Practices of Writing for Mental Health

Some of the best practices for writing mental health content are the following:

1. Choose Your Language Carefully

When discussing mental health, you balance providing valuable information and ensuring that your language remains inclusive and supportive. For instance, you should not say, “suffering from a mental illness.” Instead, you should say, “has a mental illness.”

Also, focus on the condition instead of the person. Use terms like “person with substance abuse disorder” instead of “addict.”

2. Consult an Expert 

If you aren’t a mental health expert and have a lot of technical information to discuss, then it helps to defer to experts in the mental health field. By doing so, you provide accurate and relevant information to your audience.

3. Offer Practical Tips

What differentiates mental health content writing from other forms of writing is the intention. While other niches primarily focus on selling a product or service, mental health writing often involves prioritizing the well-being and support of individuals with mental health challenges.

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SEO Best Practices for Mental Health Content Writing

Keep in mind these SEO best practices for mental health content writing:

1. Select Relevant Keywords Related to Mental Health

A successful SEO campaign begins with keyword research. All you need are the right tools. Some popular ones include Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Semrush.

When finding the right keywords, you can try out various approaches. Analyze competitors within your niche – what keywords are they using? Incorporate them into your SEO strategy.

Another tip: focus on long-tail keywords. These keywords often have higher conversion rates and less competition. In this case, use keywords like “therapies for PTSD veterans” instead of “PTSD therapy.”

2. Build an On-page SEO Strategy for Your Mental Health Website

An optimized on-page strategy is a critical ingredient in the recipe for SEO success.

You must incorporate the relevant mental health keywords into title tags, meta descriptions, and headers. Of course, this must be done tastefully to keep your language natural.

3. Consider Improving Local SEO

While many writers dream of reaching a global audience, you cannot ignore the impact of local SEO. If, for example, you offer a therapy service, you need to implement a few strategies.

Start a Google My Business profile and complete it with all the relevant details. You can also create mental health content localized to your area and solicit reviews from satisfied clients.

4. Optimize Off-page SEO for Your Mental Health Website

If there is on-page SEO optimization, we cannot leave out off-page SEO optimization. One of the most effective ways to build your strategy is to start guest blogging.

This requires you to connect with other mental health websites where you offer to write relevant articles.

When writing guest posts, include backlinks to your website for an effective off-page SEO strategy.

For most people, the concept of SEO can get overwhelming. At TrioSEO, we want to lift this burden off your shoulders so you can focus on what you do best: running your business.

With 10+ years of experience in SEO, we’ve honed the finest strategies to help build your blog. If you’re ready to begin, get in touch with our experts.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These are the most common questions we encounter when writing mental health content:

What Are the Challenges of Writing About Mental Health?

While the mental health field is highly technical, there are other challenges when writing this type of content: 

  1. Stigma. For the most part, society has stigmatized mental illness – leading to misconceptions, discrimination, and even hesitation to seek help. Eradicating this stigma requires using thoughtful language and empathetic storytelling.
  2. Triggering Content. Before you hit the Publish button in your article, identify whether it contains triggering content. Be sure to provide content warnings and be mindful of your language.
    For instance, if you’re discussing self-harm in an article about coping strategies, it’s best not to provide detailed descriptions of specific methods that individuals use to injure themselves.
  3. Understanding the Ethical Considerations. Earlier, we reviewed the guidelines and ethics for writing mental health content. Before publishing their content, mental health writers must understand the ethical considerations related to confidentiality, consent, and the possible impact of their writing on vulnerable populations.

    How Can I Find Inspiration for Mental Health Articles and Blogs?

    Finding the inspiration to write mental health articles is learning about what topics appeal to you the most. These can come from firsthand experiences or stories shared by other individuals. As long as interest and passion are present, you can write mental health content successfully.

    What Impact Can Mental Health Writing Have on Society?

    If you write mental health content while keeping ethics and good practices in mind, then there’s no doubt that your mental health writing can positively impact society.

    You get to educate your audience on various topics, such as various mental health disorders, self-care strategies, and how to seek help.

    However, it’s essential to understand that you can impact society negatively if you write mental health content without adhering to ethical guidelines and responsible practices.

    Hence, it’s vital to approach writing with sensitivity, empathy, and a commitment to inclusivity and accuracy. That way, you ignite positive change and contribute to a more informed society on mental health.


    If you want to create mental health content, there has never been a better time. You help spread awareness and even provide support in trying times.

    All it takes is a killer SEO strategy to help you reach a wider audience, amplify your message, and make a meaningful impact in the mental health space.

    With over a decade of SEO expertise, our TrioSEO team can help your content rise to the top of search results – connecting you with those who need it the most.

    We offer content writing services that deliver by bringing organic traffic and generating targeted leads to your website. Connect with us for a free SEO audit so we can start your SEO journey!

    TrioSEO - Connor Gillivan

    Want more traffic and leads? Turn your website into a traffic generation hub. Get started and we’ll conduct a free SEO audit to see if working together is a good fit. 

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    Steven is the Co-founder & CEO of TrioSEO. His background is in large-scale blogging where he co-owned 40 websites and helped grow the portfolio to 7-figures within 3 years. Follow him on LinkedIn for daily SEO tips, tricks, and strategies.

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