Mental Health Awareness Month

  Bj Kirschner      28 May 2021     Team Insight

May is Mental Health Awareness month. We all know this. It has been around a long time and it even has a designated motto in #breakthestigma.

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month. We all know this. It has been around a long time and it even has a designated motto in #breakthestigma.

Why is Just Worldwide waiting until the end of the month when everybody else had their posts ready to go on May 1? It was done on purpose. When dealing with Mental Health issues, people have the best of intentions, truly meaning to check in on those they know may be suffering or having a tough time, but we all get busy and our attention goes in a zillion different directions daily. So, if we mention it at the end of the month, it is a reminder that Mental Health awareness does not go into hibernation from June 1 to April 30. Awareness in May leads to learning all year.

I say that with personal experience as I have dealt with Mental Health issues since childhood. I know what the stigma means. I have been advised countless times never to mention my personal Mental Health struggles as it is inappropriate, even scary, yet I am encouraged to openly discuss a unique set of kidney issues. I have been in renal failure too many times in my life, but I have been upended by Mental Health entanglements far more often. To me, they are the same. Both can knock me out of commission for days on end, both need to be treated and both require recovery.

As a passionate supporter of the need for Mental Health awareness working in healthcare market research, I have watched with fascination for nearly three decades how this part of our industry deals with Mental Health. I have been proud to see it move from nervously approaching patients and worrying about their reactions might be to actually expecting those reactions and being ready to handle them. As patients, we are no less fragile than Physical Health sufferers, though the fragility may seem different from the outside. We want to be heard. We want to discuss our lives, the good and the bad. We want the same medical breakthroughs.

My sincerest wish, on behalf of the entire Mental Health community, is that people do keep learning about the issues, that they check in with us, that they learn from us, that they challenge us, that they hold us to the same medical standards they would anybody else, that they let us prove #breakthestigma is an important first step, a step hopefully followed by others so we can move from awareness to knowledge.

I thank Just Worldwide for allowing me the opportunity to be its spokesperson for an issue of such deep personal importance.


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