When I saw Mental Health America’s (MHA) Risky Business campaign to raise awareness during May’s mental health month I thought of the movie and its leading-actor, Tom Cruise. A few years back I was working in the communications department at a psychiatric association when he was interviewed by Matt Lauer and criticized psychiatry.
What resulted was a whirlwind of media interviews for our leadership. Another result was that a spotlight was shown on mental health ―to a worldwide audience ―and we can’t let that light go out.
As MHA notes, the campaign is meant to educate people dealing with a mental health concern understand that some behaviors and habits can be an obstacle to recovery, possibly also masking a deeper issue, but that they should never be ashamed to get help.
But the stigma of mental illness can be a daunting hurdle to overcome. What can we, or I, do to help move the needle? Maybe it is being open about the fact that during and even after my pregnancies I experienced anxiety. I got support and learned tools on how to help with what I was experiencing.
I appreciate that MHA also lists 31 ways someone can work on their wellness and while I already do some of these, it is a good reminder to incorporate more into my life. Such as:
While mental health month will officially end next week, our openness about mental health issues shouldn’t. Because perhaps the riskiest business of all is to stop talking.
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