In (very) recent years, mental health and wellness have become more talked about and recognized in mainstream society. It’s discussed more openly than ever before. To be honest, we’re not too far beyond the days where it was ‘taboo’ to talk about mental health publicly.
Few would ever think to disclose any mental health challenges they were experiencing to others. The exception to this may have been to disclose it to a medical professional. Even that may have been a stretch for some. People often don’t want to feel like a ‘bother’ to others with their problems. They don’t want to be perceived as ‘crazy’ (what an unpleasant word!), and that something is wrong with them. So it became something that just wasn’t talked about. But many suffered in denial of concerns they may have had because it could be perceived so negatively. The harmful stigma attached to mental health has always been appalling and uncalled for.
Thankfully, times they are-a-changing! Now more than ever individuals are more open to talking about the subject of mental health and how it can be addressed. Bringing awareness to mental health has become the goal of several prominent, public figures (including royalty). This has helped open doors for others to talk about it more comfortably without reservation.
Don’t get me wrong—it’s not an easy topic that just kind of rolls off the tongue in casual conversation. Everyone is different and our approaches to talk about something so personal and sensitive can look different. And that’s OK. It doesn’t mean we have to tell our business to complete strangers or in circumstances where we’re not comfortable. It’s knowing that we CAN talk about it and not feeling judged for doing so that’s important.
Did you know that there is an entire month dedicated to mental health awareness? It occurs in May of each year. There is also a World Mental Health Day coming up on October 10th. That’s how significant this matter is. Yes, I know—it seems like almost everything nowadays has a ‘national day’ associated with it. But this issue has been relevant for far longer than something like National ‘Chocolate Covered Pretzel Day.’ Not to knock its fans, (which includes myself) but recognizing the importance of mental health trumps that of sweet and savory snacks any day.
Several organizations, supports groups, resources and foundations exist to provide support to those experiencing mental health challenges. If you’re experiencing emotions or thoughts that don’t feel right to you, that aren’t something you’ve had before, or you’re concerned about, talk about it by starting the conversation with your doctor, a relative, a friend or someone else you confide in. Talking about it is a tremendous first step and one you don’t have to take alone.