Category: Mental Health Stories

Supporting Mental Health at Work

Your mental health matters. It impacts your relationships with your team members, your decision-making abilities, and how you show up at work, setting the groundwork for your future and your team’s success. Mental health problems are increasingly common; one in four of your colleagues lives with mental illness, and roughly 85% of employees’ mental health conditions are undiagnosed or untreated. Knowing how to identify mental health problems, creating a psychologically safe culture where mental health is discussed openly, and understanding how to address mental health problems are essential for bringing out the best in your people.  

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Mental Health Support Remains a Commitment for Metro Region

Over 3,500 community members and organizations were involved in the first-ever Metro Region Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) process to prioritize mental health, released last April. That CHIP report, which can be accessed here, outlined a commitment to improve mental health across the region using these shared strategies:

  • Reduce stigma of mental health and substance use disorders 
  • Increase connections to mental health and preventive resources
  • Connect people to increased social supports 
  • Reduce trauma

On March 22, we published the March 2022 Update of the Metro Region CHIP to share new information and progress made toward these priorities, as new data became available via the 2021 Community Health Assessment (CHA) and upon formal evaluation of the Region’s Mental Health Stigma Reduction Campaign.

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Books to talk about Mental Health with Children 

Over the past two years, The Wellbeing Partners have been working to fight stigma surrounding mental health challenges.  We do this by encouraging people to talk about their own challenges and the way they support others who are experiencing mental health challenges.  Our work and The What Makes Us campaign focuses on adults, but we also recognize that these are vital conversations to have with children as well—helping them to grow up knowing that all emotions are valid and acceptable, and that there is support for their emotional needs.   

Books are excellent tools to help these conversations happen in ways that are natural and comfortable for both children and adults. Check out these suggestions for titles to share with the children in your own life. 

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In some ways, my experience with my bipolar disorder has been like my experience with appendicitis: two years of intense symptoms then professional intervention only when things started to rupture. The difference, of course, is no one is going to someday bring me my bipolar disorder in a jar and tell me I’ll never have to worry about it again.  The full story probably starts with mild symptoms in high school, but I only noticed those in hindsight. The actual story starts about midway through my junior year of college when my symptoms became severe enough that they were no longer […]

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If you ask my mother, my mental illness began when I was 6 with the fatal car accident that left me with perforated intestines, broken bones, and high anxiety. If you ask my cross-country coach, my mental illness began when I collapsed in the middle of our conference meet from stress exhaustion. If you ask my doctor, my mental illness began when my BMI finally got lowered to the point of faulty organ function. If you ask me, I might deny having anything wrong with me at all—that within the very nature of eating disorders. Eating disorders are serious illnesses […]

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When our son was in the PTSD unit after his suicide attempt, he was encouraged to find some type of art therapy. He decided to paint tabletop gaming miniatures, and he chose the Warhammer Age of Sigmar game because he’d previously been interested in some of the stories that came out of that fictional universe. When he first started showing us his little figures of goblins and rat men, we didn’t really get it but were happy there was something creative in his life.  The thing with tabletop miniatures is they are meant to be the pieces for a game, and in […]

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I was diagnosed with anxiety in 2017, just a few months after having my first child. Becoming a mother broke open my emotions with such power; it knocked me down HARD.   Before my baby, I had a false confidence that I was in control and that no one had to know when I was struggling. Feeling down? Just be positive! Don’t let people doubt that you got this!  But it wasn’t working.  It took me a long time to realize and accept that I am an anxious person. I wasn’t someone who openly spoke about what worried me or bad days. I […]

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My husband and I initially didn’t have any idea anything was wrong with our son.  He seemed to have a great military career but he traveled a lot so we saw very little of him, and so we were unaware as to the extent of his struggles. It feels like mental illness isn’t anything we discuss in “polite company” and it is something a person can hide (at least to some extent) during the short visits we were able to make. Looking back, there were some clues, but not having much knowledge of mental illness, we missed all of it.  Then came the life changing phone call that […]

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A Nurse

As a nurse, raising a child with mental health challenges, who also happened to teach stress reduction, I felt confident in my ability to handle stress. One fall day the perfect storm came together: I had just gotten divorced, I was in graduate school with projects due, and I was the primary caregiver for my young-adult son. I was attending an autism conference one day and had to leave early as I was feeling very anxious – I felt overwhelmed by all the information even though I had attended these kinds of conferences before.   As I was driving home, I […]

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My Silent Cry

“My Silent Cry”  Can anybody hear me? Of course you can’t I don’t cry out loud It’s my silent cry you cannot hear Brought on by functional depression Others suffer in silence too We can call it by different names I first called mine just feeling blue  Some friends know about it they are very few Most that come in contact with me would not have a single clue I can do all the things that are essential for me  Eat, work and shop for groceries but no other activities  The things that soothe me sometimes fade so bad at times, I can’t even sing I retreat from public appearance To know me publicly  meet me on the dance floor Feeling the music, I am free I’ve […]

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