The Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Our Mental Health: Has It Also Reduced The Stigma Surrounding It? — Corwin N. Harper, MHA, FACHE

As the pandemic fell upon us, we find ourselves coping with a lot of What-Ifs situation. Unconsciously, it has affected us not just emotionally but mentally as well. It makes one wonder the whether they are suffering from a drain in mental health or they have mental illnesses. Reading The Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Our Mental Health: Has It Also Reduced The Stigma Surrounding It? By Naz Beheshti on Forbes has clarified their difference as well as educated me.

As someone who strives to be an empathetic and authentic leader who supports improving humanity through healthcare, whether it’s through medicinal or psychological, this article sheds light on mental health that everyone should be aware of. A lot of times, mental health is overlooked and because of the negative stigma surrounding it. It is often linked with mental illnesses such as, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.”

Ever since the pandemic pushed us to the edge, there are alarmingly more people experience mental health issues. And because of it, the stigma surrounding mental health issues is decreasing since it is becoming an open topic. This is a positive improvement as it also reduces the embarrassment of bringing up mental health struggle that most people deal with.

“Psychological safety is widely recognized as a fundamental precondition for cohesive and high-performing teams. It also creates an environment in which employees feel comfortable coming forward with any mental health challenges they may be facing and in which supervisors and leaders feel comfortable checking in with employees and asking how they can support their mental health.”

Normalizing conversations about mental health, helps build trust in the workplace and it is a shared responsibility across leadership. The article mentions a few other ways a company can take to improve employees mental health

  • Provide no-hassle paid time off for mental health.
  • Organize company-wide shut-downs for everyone to recharge,
  • Make well-being training and mental health literacy a core part of leadership training
  • Include mental health practitioners in regular company meetings

For the longest time, there has been a negative light when mental health is brought up as people are afraid of being judged. “We cannot allow mental health issues to go back into the shadows. Our individual health and well-being, and that of our organizations, depend on us keeping mental health in the light and front-and-center where it belongs.” Not only will it bring awareness of the importance of mental health but it also produces compassionate work relationships.

The article provides an informative understanding between the difference of mental health and mental illnesses. If you want to understand more and be educated as I was, read the full article here.



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