It’s Time to Talk about Mental Health and Wellbeing
February 6th is a day dedicated to talking. Yes, but not just talking to talk, but taking time to talk and reach out to one another and draw attention to the importance of mental health and human connections.
Did you know that anxiety disorders and depression are the most common mental illness in the U.S., and affects over 40 million adults ages 18 and older? That is over 18% of the U.S. population.
Why is talking about mental health hard?
Approximately 44 million American adults experience a mental illness any given year; that's about one out of every five adults in the U.S is living with a mental illness. With numbers as high as these, we would think people would be more open to sharing their struggles- however, this is not the case. The perception of mental illness has improved in recent years. Still, studies have shown that 98% of mental health sufferers agreed that mental illness and those who suffer from it are stigmatized and discriminated against. Much of this is due to a lack of understanding, education, and mental illness stereotypes.2 It can be daunting to open up and express personal struggles.
Crescent culture has adopted a whole person wellbeing model that supports our people's physical, career, social, financial, and community health. We live in an ever-changing world, with many challenges, opportunities, and decisions that impact us every day. By providing whole-person wellbeing programs, topics such as mental illness and emotional resilience help support and care for the inner person through personal development programs, the Voice of our people initiatives, and our wellness programs. "Crescent is a community focused on growing our People to provide a path forward." Whichever path that is, Crescent is dedicated to supporting the needs of our People, which includes mental health services.
By creating a safe environment, remaining approachable, and opening up, the likelihood of the person suffering seeking help increases- this is crucial to the healing process.
So, what exactly is mental illness?
Mental illness is a physical illness - yes, mental illness impacts how we think and discern. It also affects how our body functions, just like asthma, diabetes, and any other illness. Some view mental illness as only disorders and issues such as psychosis, and others such as depression as just sadness- this is incorrect. Mental illness takes many forms; some mental health issues include Autism, ADHD, eating disorders, strokes, anxiety, etc.
The Crescent Way and Supporting Whole Person Wellbeing
Mental illness affects emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that make it difficult to live and cope with the everyday routines and demands of life. Mental resilience in wellbeing is not just about reducing stress here at Crescent but includes efforts to build our People's feelings to focus, to being, understand their occupational purpose, and of course, making Crescent a source of happiness in their lives. As our culture is our most valuable asset and our culture is comprised of our People, and we must therefore know and understand what motivates our People's choice to be a part of the Crescent team by ensuring our People can say "YES" to:
Status - Do I feel as important to this operation as others?
Certainty - In this changing and demanding world, can I be certain my hard work will be noticed?
Autonomy - Are my suggestions to improve my work environment/station being considered?
Related - Am I connected? Am I part of a team, and do I feel safe around my team? Is my uniqueness respected?
Fair - Am I treated and rewarded the same as others without bias or prejudice?
This makes up our company SCARF model and provides the base for our Voice of our People initiatives. Our comprehensive benefits and EAP programs also offer services to intervene before stress, loneliness, depression, isolation, and grief become a chronic or detrimental illness later on in life. People are our greatest asset - our leadership and culture are built to ensure these individuals have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else makes the most significant difference.
The stigma of mental illness affects not just the person with mental illness but also their families, communities, country, and world.
37% of students with a mental health condition age 14 and older drop out of school. This is the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
70% of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness.
26% of homeless adults in shelters live with serious mental illness.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease.
Serious mental illness costs the U.S. $193.2 billion in lost earnings every year.
90% of those who died by suicide had an underlying mental illness.
Statistics provided by Pine Rest, Christian Mental Health Services
On-Time to Talk day, help raise awareness about mental health and take part in changing the narrative.
One of the most challenging and most important things to do is to take the first step. You do not have to be an expert to express care and be willing to talk and listen to others. When speaking to someone with a mental illness, remember the needs are not far apart from what you would like others to interact with you. Be patient and show that you care; the words you say and do not say make a difference. Feelings are personal, do not become judgmental of someone's thoughts and actions. Remember to listen; don't disregard or challenge the person's feelings. Encourage them to talk with a mental health care provider or take advantage of Crescent's EAP program or your employer's program as well as their primary care provider if they are seeking help.
Here are ways YOU can support positive mental health.
Practice positive self-talk and take time to think through situations or actions to prevent negative thoughts.
Re-Think your inner circle. Stressful relationships - that cause you to feel bad about yourself or uncomfortable can be detrimental to your mental health.
Take time to unwind and stick to those plans.
Even if you feel your support and actions are not making a difference, they are likely making a difference for your friend, co-worker, or family member. If you think someone is at risk of hurting themselves or others, contact the National Suicide Prevention Line 800-273-TALK (8255).
As we celebrate each other and National Time to Talk day, take the time to learn more about Mental Health and its conditions, symptoms, and possible treatments. Celebrate today as a day meant for acceptance and understanding and encouraging conversations for a positive step forward.