Mental health illness carries a significant stigma in our society, which oftentimes permeates into our workspace. People avoid talking about or seeking help for mental health for the fear of stigma. And yet:
- 1 in 5 American adults experienced a mental health condition in a given year.
- 1 in 6 young people have experienced a major depressive episode.
- 1 in 20 Americans have lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
- Suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2020 for people ages 10 to 24 years old (stigma being a serious contributing factor to people suffering in silence)
Factors Contributing to Mental Health Conditions
Mental health conditions have nothing to do with being lazy or weak, and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health conditions, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
- Family history of mental health conditions
Path to Recovery
Studies show that people with mental health conditions get better, and many are on a path to recovery (the process in which people can live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities). There are more treatments, services, and community support systems. Treatment for mental health conditions vary depending on the individual and could include medication, therapy, or both. Many individuals do best when they work with a support system during the healing and recovery process.
Talking about mental health, bringing it into light, and normalizing getting help for mental health issues can help improve our physical health, make us more productive, and help us become better functioning members of our society. It can also help people around you. By normalizing and de-stigmatizing mental health and mental illness and by talking about it, we are helping not only ourselves, but our co-workers and our community.
Peak Vista's mission is to provide exceptional health care to people facing access barriers through clinical programs and education. Breaking down the walls of mental health/illness stigma brings us closer to fulfilling our vision.