Mental illness has no boundaries and affects individuals, families, coworkers, and employers. The cost of mental illness in the workplace is staggering and is forcing leaders to understand how to effectively deal with mental illness to create a mentally healthy workforce.
In 2014, a mental health survey of 800 voters in Massachusetts was conducted by the National Alliance of Mental Illness Massachusetts chapter. The following responses were gathered in response to mental health and peer support in the workplace;
Question 1: Is it best to tell your family about mental health issues OR is it best to keep it quiet:
Answer: 92% responded it is best to tell the family.
Question 2: Is it best to tell your friends about mental health issues OR is it best to keep it quiet:
Answer: 76% responded it is best to tell friends.
Question 3: It is best to tell your co-workers about mental health issues OR is it best to keep it quiet:
Answer: 27% suggest telling a co-worker (Martilla Strategies, 2014)
The literature suggests the approach to dispelling stigma is multi-pronged including; education to dispel myths, protest to reduce stigma and “contact to put a human face on mental illness” (Martin, 2008). The literature also reveals that sharing experiences of mental illness through direct person to person connections “can create long term attitudinal change and affect behavior (Knapp et al, 2007).
This is the reason why I am committed to sharing my personal story of being a top performing, award-winning, high functioning business professional who fought (and hid) my intense battle with major depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse disorder, and persistent suicidal thoughts. My story offers hope and inspiration and allows individuals to know they are not alone and that is ok to not be ok.
A link to my entire research project can be found below.
The Strength of Our Anchors is a collection of personal stories told by Dawn M Bornheimer, Erin Antroinen, Jackie MacDougall, Emily Clark, Kim LaMontagne, Leia Lewis, Natasha Novak, Anna Owusu, Kathy Clark, and Tina Paulus-Krause.
Their stories are woven with the challenges they’ve overcome, lessons learned, tools acquired, and the perspective that comes as a result of their willingness to reflect.
“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about. “ -Haruki Murakami
The book is scheduled to release the week of February 25th.
Order today for $19.99 (includes tax and shipping).
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“I’ve decided today is truly the day I get help. I wish there were programs like NAMI around the world.
Thank you so much. I really wish I saw this presentation earlier”.
“This presentation made me remember that my mental illness does not make me flawed,
because it is a part of me and no one is perfect”.