COCO THE LOUDER IS A MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY AND EDUCATION INNOVATOR
...AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST HEARTS ON THE INTERNET
She has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is pushing the boundaries of outreach work. Bridging her passion with technology, Coco utilizes live streams to make mental health education interactive, accessible, and fun. Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn how to care for their emotional wellbeing. Everyone deserves access to mental health resources, info, and to get support. Coco's uplifting wellness streams have reached over 248,000 views on her live broadcasts.
Taking your mental health as seriously as your physical health isn't weakness: it is you being smart, healthy, and responsible.
Coco's philosophy encourages folks by providing mental health strategies and tools that make sense, even if you've never sat through a single minute of a psych class. Her work focuses on practical approaches to self-care and wellness, whether you are functioning at your near best or struggling to function at all. Most of all? She makes sure no one is left alone or unhelped by forming a bridge between "does mental health treatment even work?" and the first steps to set up an initial treatment session.
Her #1 goal? To create hope even when you've lost sight of the shore.
Coco earned her doctorate in clinical psychology in 2009. Her focus was adult individual psychotherapy (aka therapy with adults). She specialized in crisis work, doing a year rotation at Advocate Illinois Masonic’s level 1 trauma center emergency room as crisis staff and was a therapist at Northern Illinois University (NIU) during their 2008 school shooting where several students were killed. As a mental health support, Coco accompanied survivors from NIU on a trip to Virginia for Virginia Tech’s one year memorial after their shooting as well.
Coco also specialized in working with LGBTQIA+ folks and people in the kink community. She has also worked a lot with neurodevelopmental disabilities, primarily Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. She also completed a year rotation focusing on integrating spirituality and religion into treatment for religious clients, including multi-faith outreach and coordination work with local religious leaders.
Coco graduated with her doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago in 2009 after completing her doctoral internship at NIU. She developed pretty intense Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after the NIU shooting. After graduating, she focused on getting healthy and found a kick butt trauma specialist who helped a ton. In her recovery, she started taking dance classes (modern, ballet, and then raqs sharqi) and fell madly in love with dance, continuing down the path of dance after graduation.
People asked, “do you miss doing psychology?!” “don’t you miss doing therapy?!” “what about post-doc?” But Coco was choreographing and training in dance 5 hours a day - it was her everything. Eventually, through live broadcasting, Coco started sharing dance and painting with viewers on Twitch.
After a few years, Coco had spinal surgery and was later diagnosed with arthritis throughout her spine. It caused a ton of nerve issues and chronic pain. Dance slowly became more and more impossible so Coco began exploring mental health live streams. Would people be interested? Would they care? Holy cow, yes.
It was amazing how open and enthusiastic people were about mental health. She started with a stream about dating. It went great. Self-esteem? Awesome. Then she tested the waters with topics like depression and panic attacks… Immediately, Coco was floored with the positive and enthusiastic responses. So many people are ready to talk mental health. So many people want to understand the foundation of their mental health, they want to know how to get treatment, they want tools, they want knowledge, they want to know how to best be supportive of their loved ones - we all absolutely have a right to this fundamental mental health information.
Coco’s degree aka “No, I’m not pretending to be a doctor on the internet.”
SO WHAT DOES COCO DO?
Wouldn’t it be absurd if you had to wait until you developed heart disease, went to the doctor, and THEN learned about how diet and exercise can impact cardiovascular health?
It’d be ridiculous and yet it happens all the time with mental health. Far too often folks aren’t told about how thoughts can affect feelings, when and how to see a mental health professional (if you’re wondering if you should, then the answer is yes. You can decide with them if you continue onto treatment.), the fundamentals of healthy communication, mindfulness, self-awareness, what can cause mental health disorders, what does self-care actually mean, and more. A lot of people walk around with the impression that mental health means being perfectly rational and never experiencing unpleasant emotions.
Misinformation is incredibly problematic when we’re trying to foster healthy lives. Whether you’re pretty darn healthy or living with a mental health disorder, knowing the ins and outs of human emotional functioning is key.
Coco teaches these fundamentals because everyone has the right to understand the basics of human mental health and emotional functioning, just like they have the right to know the fundamentals of human cardiovascular health. She emphasizes how learning fundamental mental health tools does NOT “poof” cure disorders and that personal, professional treatment is vital.
The mental health field has often done an abysmal job of teaching mental health fundamentals to the public. Coco’s job as a mental health advocate and educator is to share mental health fundamentals in the most pragmatic, accessible manner to the public. She is constantly championing how crucial it is that folks seek out professional care for any mental health concerns while providing guidance for starting treatment.
What Coco Does:
Teaches the neurobiological basics about emotional functioning and mental health.
Provides resources on the fundamentals of self-care and coping.
Encourages folks with any mental health concerns to bring them to professional, licensed mental health treatment while providing resources for finding providers.
Empowers by providing resources for treatment, information for talking with your treatment providers, explaining what all the different mental health professionals do and what they’re good for, what to expect, how to navigate being unhappy with your provider, and affordable options for care.
Highlights how interpersonal, systemic, and cultural stressors, oppression, trauma, and discrimination cause notable harm to mental health and provides resources for finding competent, affirming providers serving LGBTQIA+ and POC clients.
Educates on the fundamentals of healthy communication, relationships, and the diverse array of human social needs.
Clarifies core information about various mental health disorders, their symptoms, and treatment options so folks can make informed choices, ask the right questions, and be empowered in their mental health and treatment.
Wears pirate hats on live broadcasts.
What Coco Absolutely Does NOT Do:
Coco doesn’t even remotely kinda sorta do any of the following: diagnose, treat, do therapy, assessment, group therapy, treatment plans, recommend medication, etc. These are all super helpful things that you get by making an appointment with your own mental health professional. Think of Coco’s content and live broadcasts more like reading a really silly, positive book on mental health. And books aren’t therapy either.
Public Advocacy + Clinical Professionals = Teamwork
Coco teaches about the process of talking to a mental health professional, how to pick a therapist, how different professionals diagnose and treat disorders, affording treatment, what can mental health treatment actually accomplish, the different types of therapy, and more. Coco counts every person that tells her they made an appointment with a professional as a huge success. Her ultimate goal is to facilitate everyone’s mental health, the heart of which is demystifying and instilling hope regarding the process of professional treatment. Think of Coco as the mental health professional’s wingman or their most super enthusiastic, energetic referral source.