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    Stigma of Mental Health

    Ending the Stigma of Mental Health in the Professional Industry

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    In the past few years, more and more people have started having discussions about mental health. Most of the time, these discussions take place within safe spaces with trustworthy people. But in some industries, people have also started approaching the topic of mental health. Through conversations and education, people slowly realize the importance of mental health for our well-being.

    However, not all industries are so quick to catch up. Mental health stigma is still present, especially at work. For a lot of people, even an off-hand comment on their mental health might be off-limits. In order to understand why that is, we need to understand how mental health stigma manifests in the workplace. Only then can we work towards ending it.

    Recognizing the Stigma

    If mental health is not discussed in our industry, it might not be easy for us to recognize the signs of stigma. But the truth is that there are other signs. When we refuse to take sick days, no matter how unwell we feel, it’s not unreasonable to believe stigma is what motivates us. When we refuse to take sick days because of embarrassment or because we’re scared our employers might not deem it necessary, it is definitely due to mental health stigma in the workplace.

    If we move through work worried that we might be harassed by coworkers over our mental health, it’s due to stigma. Suppose we struggle with our mental health but never say a word about it while at work, even during a break; it’s also because of stigma. We believe our coworkers and employers will treat us differently if they know about any issues we might have, so we stay quiet. If the topic of mental health is so off-limits at our workplace, it’s because of stigma.

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    Effects on People

    There are different ways in which mental health stigma affects us. We may have to deal with discriminatory behavior, which in turn affects our mental health even more. We might choose isolation instead of discrimination. This can sometimes lead us to stop seeking support altogether. When we’re already isolated from our peers because of stigma, lacking professional help, such as therapy, can do even more damage to our mental health.

    We might even be scared of being forced to leave our jobs. It’s tough for anyone to deal with the additional pressure of potentially being let go while navigating life and working with mental health issues. Sometimes, this forces us to make the first move and quit our jobs anyway. Mental health stigma in the workplace is incredibly dangerous.

    Ending the Stigma

    It can be hard to know how to end mental health stigma when it’s such an off-limits topic. It can be daunting to make the first move, especially if we aren’t a manager or an employer with the ability to introduce policies that can decrease the stigma in the workplace. But even then, there are things we can do.

    We can talk to our coworkers and see how they’re doing. We can talk to them about our own experiences with mental health issues or support them if they decide to speak about theirs. And if anyone contributes to the stigma with inappropriate comments, we can always try speaking up against them. It can be scary to do this, but ending the stigma is worth it.

    If you struggle with mental health stigma in the workplace, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. If you need professional help because your mental health isn’t doing well, don’t hesitate to make an appointment. Don’t let stigma stop you from taking care of yourself. Seek out the help you need.  Call JoyFeel Therapy today!

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