At Journey, we believe that everyone deserves the support they need to prioritize their mental health. So in honor of World Mental Health Day 2023, we’re taking proactive steps to promote and protect everyone’s mental health as a basic human right. In shedding light on the importance of mental health in the workplace and beyond, we’re fighting stigma and empowering people with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive.
The Silent Struggle: Challenges in Seeking Mental Health Care
We’ve all read the headlines. From provider shortages to lengthy wait times for therapy appointments, these days, mental health care seems more difficult to access than ever before. The pandemic brought about a massive increase in the demand for these services and many people are struggling to find the support they need.
So if you’ve tried to find support for yourself or a loved one, only to become frustrated by the complicated nature of the process, you’re not alone. Some people find themselves miles away from the nearest therapist. Others might not be able to find an in-network provider who is taking new clients. And for many, the mere act of admitting they need help can feel like a hill too steep to climb. But in addition to these systemic issues, there’s another, more silent factor affecting the mental health landscape–stigma.
The Elephant in the Room: Stigma and Its Impact
Picture this – you’re carrying a heavy backpack, each brick representing a worry or fear. You’re tired, and you want to lighten the load. But the voices around you whisper, “What will people think?” or “Just snap out of it.” This is the weight of stigma. It’s the unspoken judgment, the misconceptions, and the stereotypes that surround mental health. It’s the friend who says, “Just snap out of it!” or the colleague who believes you’re just seeking attention.
The total impact of stigma is hard to measure. But research shows that it makes it more difficult for people to seek help. Fortunately, there is evidence that attitudes about mental illness are shifting. Culturally speaking, more people are coming to understand mental health as a biomedical issue (as opposed to a personality flaw or sign of weakness). But we still have a long way to go in breaking down the barriers that make it difficult for people to talk openly about mental health.
Breaking Down Walls: The Power of Awareness
The good news is that we can all play a part in combating stigma using something we all already possess–our collective voice. By talking more openly about mental health, we can challenge old myths and raise awareness in our homes, communities, schools, and workplaces. We can show that mental health issues are a part of the universal human experience. Every conversation, every shared story chips away at the walls of stigma. And the ripple effect is profound. One person’s courage can inspire another to seek help, creating a chain reaction of understanding and empathy.
Small Steps, Big Impact: How You Can Make a Difference
While the problem of stigma can seem vast and overwhelming, know that there are some small, meaningful things you can do to help. Start by listening, without judgment. Speak more openly about your own mental health struggles (when it feels safe to do so). Make time to check in with someone who seems like they’re having a hard time. Educate yourself about mental health (more on that below!). Challenge stereotypes and stigma when you encounter them. Remember, small gestures can have a significant impact. A simple “I noticed you haven’t seemed like yourself lately. Are you doing ok?” can be the lifeline someone needs.
Join Us: Celebrate World Mental Health Day With Journey
First established in 1992, World Mental Health Day is a reminder that our mental well-being is as crucial as our physical health. Each year, communities worldwide host events, workshops, and campaigns. From celebrities sharing their personal journeys to influencers promoting self-care, the message is loud and clear: mental health matters.
In honor of World Mental Health Day 2023, Journey is offering two digital learning sessions on this year’s theme, “Mental Health is a Universal Right.” Join us on October 10th to learn simple, actionable steps you can take to improve your mental health each day. The best part? These sessions are free and open to the public, meaning anyone can attend using the signup link below. In the meantime, you can also check out our free downloadable World Mental Health Day wallpaper for desktop and mobile. Give yourself a colorful reminder to make your mental health a priority each day!
This October, let’s remember that World Mental Health Day isn’t just about a single day of awareness. It’s a movement, a call to action. It’s about understanding, empathy, and collective effort. So, let’s pledge to be more compassionate, to listen, and to raise awareness. Let’s work together to dismantle stigma so that more people feel empowered to seek the mental health support they deserve.
Sign Up for a Session on October 10th, 2023:
12pm ET / 9am PT or 4pm ET / 1pm PT
Download World Mental Health Day Wallpapers
At Journey, our proactive EAP is designed to bring personalized mental health support to employees and to support HR leaders in driving meaningful, measurable results for companies across the globe. To learn more about bringing our 24/7 digital platform and best-in-class, concierge mental health care to your organization, request a demo.