The goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to fight stigma, provide support, and raise awareness about mental health within our communities.
You Are Not Alone
In the United States, one in five adults live with some form of mental illness and nearly half of all adults will experience a mental illness at some point during their lifetime.1
Mental health is essential to a person’s well-being, relationships, and the ability to live a full and productive life. People with untreated mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, are at high risk for many unhealthy and unsafe behaviors, including alcohol or drug abuse, violent or self-destructive behavior, and suicide—the 2nd leading cause of death for Idahoans aged 10-44.2
Social stigma can make navigating life with a mental illness even more challenging. The stigma surrounding mental illness can cause people to feel embarrassed or ashamed, ultimately preventing them from seeking the help they need. Talking openly about mental health will help to eliminate some of the associated stigma and is one small step we can all take to help improve the mental health landscape in Idaho.
Mental health conditions are as common and treatable as physical conditions such as high blood pressure or asthma. Unfortunately, because of stigma, we do not usually talk about mental health conditions as openly as physical conditions. Use the following tips to help bust mental health stigma in your workplace and larger community:
- See the whole person. A person’s mental health condition does not define who they are.
- Offer support. Do not be afraid to reach out to someone you feel might be struggling.
- Challenge misconceptions around mental health. Speak up if you hear a coworker or friend spreading stereotypes and myths about mental illness.
- Understand that your words matter. Use respectful language around mental health and avoid labels like “crazy” or “unstable.”3
Employee Assistance Program
Talking with a therapist or counselor helps people process their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, stresses, goals, and past experiences.4 The Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, provides confidential, short-term counseling services for benefit eligible employees and their dependents to help them handle concerns constructively before they become major issues. Benefit eligible State of Idaho employees and their dependents may receive 1 to 5 visits per person per plan year with no copayment required. Visit the Office of Group Insurance’s website for details.
Employee Assistance Program
The 10 Tools
Boost your own mental health, or support the people you care about, with the Ten Tools. This list of proven resilience strategies can help you feel stronger and more hopeful.5