The topic of mental health is making headlines, which may bring it some needed attention. Greater awareness and less stigma can help shed light on this pervasive problem. And maybe we’ll begin to treat our mental well-being the same as our physical well-being. After all, a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.
The mental health problem
Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, education or income, mental health disorders do not discriminate. The problem is so widespread in the United States that 44 million adults — about one in every five — have a mental health disorder.1 And 76% of employees surveyed have struggled with at least one issue that affects their mental health2 — that’s three out of four people in our U.S. workforce. But the stigma around mental health persists.
What we’re doing about it
The first step to tackling mental health is to normalize the conversation about it, and that’s what the American Heart Association’s CEO Roundtable is doing. This October, we’ve kicked off a nationwide public awareness campaign called “Sharing,” created by Leo Burnett. It shows how sharing mental health concerns with the right people can help. Social media has ingrained the act of sharing in our culture today. We share so much of our lives — because when you share, you’re not alone.
The Sharing campaign aims to
- normalize the conversation around mental health,
- reduce stigma,
- and help employees engage with workplace resources.
Why it helps to share
This isn’t just another “nice idea.” Sharing with the right people is proven to help. Most people (80%) can be treated quickly and effectively, especially when symptoms are recognized early. But up to 60% of adults with mental disorders do not receive the mental health services they need.3
If you’re dealing with a mental health issue, find out if your employer has resources to help. You may also find these useful:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – Top Helpline Resources
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Workplace-provided resources can range from strategies to manage stress, insomnia or changes in relationships to clinical help to manage depression or more serious issues. Your employer may also be able to help a loved one who is experiencing a mental health issue.
Find resources and join in the conversation at heart.org/sharing.
Oh, and don’t forget to share!
1 Trends in depression prevalence in the USA from 2005 to 2015: widening disparities in vulnerable groups, Psychological Medicine, June 2018
2 Harris Poll online survey on Employees' Perceptions and Attitudes on Mental Health in the Workplace, commissioned by the American Heart Association, September 2018
3 Mental Health in the Workplace, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, April 2018