Dennis Relojo-Howell – AKA The World’s First Blog Psychologist – covers mental health, psychology and wellbeing over on his blog Psychreg. Starting as a directory of people interested in psychology back in 2014 (Psychreg being a portmanteau of ‘psychologists’ and ‘registry’), the blog now provides resources for those who need them, as well as mental health-related stories and articles.
Dennis shares his thoughts on the growing awareness around mental health issues as well as the advantages of being a part of the blogging community when you happen to be an introvert.
How do you describe what you do to other people?
I’m a freelancer, a content creator – which is a millennial job. I work from home running the mental health website Psychreg. I also organise mental health events. Another aspect of my work is that I get invited to deliver lectures on mental health in different countries.
How much of a community is there around mental health bloggers?
As mental health is being pushed into the spotlight, I would imagine the community to be as vibrant as that of other sectors (such as marketing and politics). For instance, there are now events and awards dedicated solely for those within the mental health field. There is also a wide audience for mental health.
What’s the best thing about being a professional blogger (if you consider yourself to be one!)?
I consider myself to be a professional blogger because this is my full-time job. Prior to taking this role, I worked for a PR agency in London, and before that as a university lecturer (I taught psychology and sociology). One of the best things about being a blogger is I get to attend some free events and I also occasionally receive gifts. I am also a bit of an introvert so I love working on my own, at my own pace and style. I’m also honoured to have been dubbed the world’s first blog psychologist by a number of publications.
What does the future of blogging look like?
Promising. More and more people are now looking for independently-produced content – be it podcasts, videos, or blogs. Also, there’s a thriving community of bloggers who keep on thinking of fresh content to offer to their audience, so the blogging landscape will definitely continue to be more dynamic.
It seems like mental health is attracting more attention in society recently, why do you think that is?
I feel that this is because our attitude as a society has evolved. Although more needs to be done, we have already made significant progress in that there are now more people who can comfortably talk about their mental health issues. It also helps that there are high-profile celebrities and personalities who champion mental health.
Are businesses/employers doing enough to support the mental health of their staff?
I would say so. There are now programmes in place in some companies which are aimed to support staff in relation to their mental health and well-being. This is of course still a luxury, because you cannot expect all companies up and down the county to have such a programme.
What’s the best mental health initiative you’ve seen?
I would say the Neurodiversity Celebration Week. It was launched by the teenager Siena Castelon, an award-winning autism advocate. Her passion and commitment in raising awareness about autism is remarkable.
How do you work with PRs and brands?
I harness the power of social media to look for potential brands to collaborate with. For PR agencies, I still don’t know how it started but I receive press releases from different agencies on a daily basis. I publish most of these press releases on my blog.
What advice do you have for PRs looking to get in touch?
Feel free to send an email to blog creators. They are always on the hunt for content, so it is a win-win situation for bloggers and for your clients. I welcome content relating to mental health and well-being from PR agencies. You can find my contact details on my website.
What other blogs do you read?
For mental health blogs – I don’t read my competitors’ blogs! Aside from mental health, I am also interested in politics and social issues, so I regularly read spiked, Unherd, and Quillette.