Compared to years past, we’re talking about mental health more than ever before. As the negative connotation around mental health continues to lift, people are becoming more comfortable talking about a variety of mental health struggles and realizing that many others are dealing with similar issues. Here are a few reasons why people are talking more about mental health these days:
One of the main reasons people are talking about mental illness more than ever before is the reduced stigma around mental health issues. As a larger portion of the population becomes educated on mental health, people feel more at ease mentioning issues like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders without fear of a negative reaction. The amount of prejudice and discrimination related to mental illness continues to lessen as attitudes and our culture change.
Hearing others tell their stories and share their mental health struggles helps people open up about their own experiences and no longer feel so alone. And as the conversation around mental health expands, more people feel compelled to speak up about mental health issues to reduce stigma and misinformation.
The media is another driving force in stimulating open conversation around mental health. Films and television series like 13 Reasons Why, Silver Linings Playbook, and To The Bone raise awareness of mental health issues and get people talking. Unfortunately, some media representations of mental illness are inaccurate and reinforce stigma and prejudice. When done well though, media representations can bring positive change to the way people understand and discuss mental health.
Social media also plays a role in the increased discussion of mental health, as people use various platforms like Instagram and Facebook to discuss challenges and connect with others dealing with similar struggles. Brands and organizations working to destigmatize mental illness also use social media platforms as a way of communicating their messages.
The World Health Organization created World Mental Health Day as a way of raising global awareness of mental health issues and to organize efforts in support of mental health. Celebrated on October 10th each year, the day facilitates conversation and looks at how to best address mental health challenges and mental healthcare. This past year’s theme was ‘mental health in the workplace,’ which stimulated a great deal of conversation around how employers can be more supportive of people struggling with mental illness.
The first week of October is designated as Mental Health Awareness Week in the United States. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and other organizations use this time to battle stigma and provide education and support for mental illnesses. Designating these specific dates to discuss mental health helps drive conversation and expose people to various issues related to mental health.
Call to action: If increased conversation and awareness around mental health has led you to become interested in seeking treatment for depression, TMS Neuro Institute in Los Angeles may be able to help. Schedule a consultation by calling 888.823.4867 or book an appointment online here.