You would think that in 2022, the topic of mental health is normal and accepted everywhere.
Unfortunately, that still isn’t the case in far too many industries. You might be surprised to know that there’s still a stigma surrounding mental health, even in the most professional settings.
In some ways, it makes sense. What would you think if you knew your doctor dealt with depression? Or, how would you feel about hiring an attorney with anxiety?
These are the reasons that people in some industries keep quiet about their mental health struggles, or try to ignore them for far too long.
Sound familiar? Do you happen to be in one of those industries? If so, you’re certainly not alone.
But, what should you do? How can you navigate your mental well-being if it’s considered taboo in your profession?
Talk to Your Employer
You might not be able to change the stigma in your entire industry. However, you might be surprised by how easy it is to change it in your place of business.
Talk to your employer about the importance of mental health recognition in the workplace. It’s becoming more common across the country, and more businesses are open to discussing it in an effort to create a more positive work environment.
Why? They’re starting to understand the effects of workplace burnout and stress. It causes employees to miss more work, and it weakens production. When they make the connection that better mental health equals happier, more productive employees, they’re going to do something about it. Don’t be afraid to start that conversation at your job.
Establish a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Whether your workplace is open about mental wellness or not, it’s important to take enough time away from work.
Everyone benefits from a healthy work-life balance, but it’s especially essential if you deal with stress, anxiety, or depression.
If your industry has been less than inviting or open to the discussion of mental health topics, make sure you’re making your home life a priority. It could be the only “safe space” you have to be yourself for the time being.
Don’t bring work home with you. Don’t work extra hours if you don’t have to. Most importantly, make sure you’re living your life to the fullest outside of work, spending time with people you care about, and doing things you enjoy.
Be an Advocate
If your employer does care about mental health but you know your industry at large still considers it “taboo,” don’t be afraid to be an advocate.
Your business could set an example for others within your industry. Promote a positive mental health culture, and advocate for other people. It won’t take long for other businesses to start following suit.
It’s okay to start small. Advocate for other people in your business who might be struggling silently with their mental health. The more people who are open about it, the easier it will be for the subject to be normalized.
Seek Professional Help
If your industry shows no signs of changing and your place of employment doesn’t want to rock the boat, make sure you’re prioritizing your needs first. Seek out the help of a counselor or therapist as soon as possible. It’s important to be able to talk to someone freely and openly about what you’re dealing with.
Not only will therapy help you manage your mental well-being, but it can strengthen your resolve to open up at work, or even consider a different career.