Silence and invisibility do not mean that mental illnesses are non-existent. It’s these very characteristics of mental illnesses that blind our perceptions into thinking that they are mere fabrications. In most cases, this is the reason why you will not really know if someone is suffering from a mental illness. Your co-workers may be mentally ill without your knowledge. It is more common than you think, as these illnesses do not discriminate against whom they target. Data from the United Kingdom in 2016–2017 saw 526,000 cases of work-related stress, anxiety, and depression causing 12.5 million working days lost within that range. Stigmas against mental illnesses cause shame within those who suffer from them, reinforcing the silence. Mass media deserves a large portion of the blame when it comes to the problem of mental health stigma, although, we should also acknowledge how the media can also help to promote mental health awareness.
Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on January 27, 2020.