Workplace Wellness News of Note, May 26, 2023

As I have continued exploring wellness practices, there is so much to learn and explore and much to be wary of when engaging with specific parts of the community and industry. One is how wellness culture can disparage conventional medicine.

The Wellness Industry Is Sneaking Medication Stigma Back Into the Mainstream — & Here’s How to Fight It

The most recent national survey on antidepressant use in America found that, between 2015 and 2018, 13.8 percent of American adults took some form of antidepressant medication: that’s over 1 in 8 people, and that number only went up during the pandemic. Despite this staggering prevalence, the stigma attached to mental health medication is still alive and well — and dangerous. Every day, the stigma convinces people who have gotten lifesaving help from mental health medication that they would be better off without it, and it doesn’t just come from strangers on Twitter: it comes from family, friends, and even therapists. I expected things to improve in my lifetime, but the all-encompassing wellness and self-care industry that’s spent the past decade swinging into view has ushered in a renaissance of people claiming that antidepressants are just too unnatural to really be good for you, and, given how much these opinions make me doubt myself, I’m concerned for everyone out there in my position.

Emphasis in the previous paragraph was added by me. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are real and often require prescription medications to treat. 

Our workplace impacts our mental health and well-being. 

Mental health at work from the World Health Organization

  • Decent work is good for mental health.Poor working environments – including discrimination and inequality, excessive workloads, low job control and job insecurity – pose a risk to mental health.
  • 15% of working-age adults were estimated to have a mental disorder in 2019
  • Globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
  • There are effective actions to prevent mental health risks at work, protect and promote mental health at work, and support workers with mental health conditions.

Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being 

Our Nation’s Current Workplace Landscape Recent surveys suggest…

  • 76%of U.S. workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition.
  • 84%of respondents said their workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge.
  • 81%of workers reported that they will be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future.

It can also help reduce the stigma around mental health. 

5 Ways Bosses Can Reduce the Stigma of Mental Health at Work

  1. Pay attention to language.
  2. Rethink “sick days.”
  3. Encourage open and honest conversations.
  4. Be proactive.
  5. Train people to notice and respond. 

Four Ways Leaders Can Break Through Mental Health Stigma In The Workplace

  1. Normalize the conversation around mental health.
  2. Lend an ear… and some support
  3. Raise awareness of resources.
  4. Model the behavior.

If you would like to speak to someone about your mental health.

  • You can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish).
  • Use your workplace Employee Assistance Program. It is free and confidential.
  • If you are experiencing a crisis or suicidal thoughts call 988 in the United Sates.

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