As the world has endured a pandemic and healthcare have been impacted by the outcome. Stressors of everyday life still exist, and it could be argued have increased in recent times, we need to recognize mental health and wellness is still an issue for many individuals.

According to the CDC, “Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. 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. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”

Many people are affected by diminished mental health and as we recognize it, we need to destigmatize the struggle of mental health for awareness. Here are some interesting statistics from the CDC website to consider.

  • About 1 in 5 American adults and 1 in 5 children will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 15-34 in the United States.
  • The vast majority of people with mental illness are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. People with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.
  • Half of all mental illness occurs before a person turns 14 years old, and three-quarters of mental illness begins before age 24.
  • Mental illness is caused by several factors including biological factors, stressful or traumatic life events, and long-lasting health conditions such as heart disease or cancer.
  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.

While we see people struggling, maybe at work or within your inner circle, family, or yourself, know that resources are available. While this is not an extensive list, it is a place you could begin a search to find help.

  • Look at your healthcare provider. Many healthcare plans have an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) that can include free or reduced-cost counseling sessions, coaches, and services.
  • CDC listed the ‘Resources That Can Help’ link
  • Dial 988 for Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
  • Hotlines for Youth link
  • Substance use disorder: Washington Recovery Help Line: 1-866-789-1511 (24/7)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness blog

Starting the conversation is just that, a start. As we enter the new landscape and resources are there but limited, be aware of the world around us. Showing compassion and recognizing when someone is not fine is also a component of understanding in work and personal life. For employees to be able to perform their best work, they must be at their best mentally. Everyone is different and f they sacrifice mental well-being, their work product will suffer at some point. Mental health is an investment monetarily and in time. It makes good business sense to support employees and allow them to take care of their mental health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a $4 return on every dollar spent on the treatment of depression and anxiety in improved health and ability to work.