On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, I took a leap of faith—I shared my experience with mental illness on the front page of the Huffington Post. The response was overwhelmingly positive and incredibly uplifting. My e-mail flooded with individuals thanking me for speaking up, my colleagues applauded, and my family (as always) supported me. However, two years later we are still continuing the fight against mental illness stigma.
These conversations are not always pleasant, and sometimes they take guts, but they are necessary. We must continue to have these tough conversations and to let one another know that it is “okay to not be okay”. It is only by having these frank discussions that we will end mental illness stigma.
As an employer, I implore you to take CivicAction’s MindsMatter assessment tool, to sit down with your teams to discuss supports within your office, and to ensure they know that their mental health is of top priority for you. I have done this with #TeamCelina, and I have seen an improvement in their mental health, our office dialogue, and our team’s dynamics.