7 Tips to promote mental health as part of diversity
First appeared on Forbes Coaches Council as 7 ways to promote mental health as part of diversity
Do you see diversity as differences in races, ethnicities cultures and religions? While it is partly correct, it is not a complete definition.
"Diversity" is about both differences and similarities. Diversity is about race, ethnicity, gender (including non-binary), age (there are six generations in the U.S.) and disabilities. It also includes sexual orientation, education, socioeconomic status, communication and learning styles, diversity of thoughts—the list goes on.
Mental health is usually an invisible disability that many shy away from discussing as it is uncomfortable and even taboo in some cultures.
#mentalhealthawarness needs to be a 24/7 discussion and concern.
Disability by definition is a physical or mental condition that limits a person's movements, senses or activities; an invisible disability is one that cannot be seen or is not apparent.
The challenge for people with invisible disabilities is that they appear like everyone else on the exterior, as there is no physical evidence of their challenge such as a cane or wheelchair.
Human beings tend to be quick to judge and label people who do not fit in the categories they assign to others, so if someone is suffering from an invisible disability they might be labeled as lazy, paranoid, making excuses, uncooperative or having behavioral problems.
Mental Health Is Part Of Diversity
Mental health is an important aspect of diversity that is often overlooked or stigmatized. Just like race, gender, sexual orientation and other aspects of diversity, mental health is an integral part of our identity that shapes how we experience the world and interact with others. However, mental health is often viewed as a personal issue, rather than a social or cultural one, and those who struggle with mental health issues are often marginalized and excluded.
The impact of mental health on diversity cannot be overstated. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of their background or identity, and can have a profound impact on how we see ourselves and others.
People with mental health issues may face discrimination, stigmatization and social exclusion, which can lead to feelings of isolation, shame and low self-esteem. This can also lead to negative physical health outcomes, as mental and physical health are closely interconnected.
At the same time, mental health can also be a source of strength and resilience and can help us build connections and create community. By acknowledging and embracing mental health as part of diversity, we can create more inclusive and supportive environments that value the diverse experiences and perspectives of all individuals.
Promoting Mental Health As Part Of Diversity
There are several ways in which we can promote mental health as part of diversity:
1. Raising awareness and reducing stigma: We can start by educating ourselves and others about mental health issues and working to reduce the stigma and shame associated with mental illness. We can also create safe spaces where people can talk openly and honestly about their experiences without fear of judgment or rejection.
2. Provide support and resources: We can also provide support and resources for people struggling with mental health issues, such as counseling, therapy and peer support groups. This can help people feel less alone and more connected to others who share their experiences.
3. Create inclusive policies and practices: We can also create policies and practices that are inclusive of people with mental health issues, such as flexible work schedules, reasonable accommodations and mental health days. This can help create a more supportive and accepting workplace culture.
4. Advocate for mental health rights: We can also advocate for policies and laws that protect the rights of people with mental health issues, such as access to affordable and quality healthcare and protection from discrimination in the workplace and other areas of life.
5. Include mental wellness in employees’ health benefits.
6. Increase representation and diversity in the mental health field.
7. Promote culturally competent care that is sensitive to the unique experiences and needs of different groups.
Certainly, members of marginalized groups may experience unique stressors and challenges that can impact their mental health. For example, individuals who face discrimination, prejudice and systemic oppression may experience chronic stress, trauma and feelings of powerlessness that can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. This can become a vicious cycle.
Mental Health Discrimination
Moreover, individuals who belong to multiple marginalized groups may face intersecting forms of discrimination and oppression that can further compound their mental health struggles. For example, LGBTQ+ people of color may experience racism and homophobia, which can increase their risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.
It is also important to acknowledge that mental health disparities exist among different groups. People from marginalized communities, such as BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals, might suffer poor mental health outcomes as they often experience limited access to mental health care and resources, which can exacerbate their mental health struggles.
Therefore, it is essential to take a holistic and intersectional approach to mental health as part of diversity; we can work toward creating more inclusive and supportive environments that value the diverse experiences and perspectives of all individuals.
This involves recognizing and acknowledging the unique challenges and stressors faced by members of marginalized communities and working to address the structural and systemic factors that contribute to mental health disparities. This can include advocating for equitable access to mental health care and resources.
In conclusion, mental health is an integral aspect of diversity that shapes our experiences and identities. We can work to reduce stigma, provide support and resources for people struggling with mental health issues, and advocate for policies and laws that protect their rights and promote their well-being.
I would love to know your thoughts, please leve them in the comments
My name is Sahar Andrade, I help organizations increase their employee engagement by investing in Diversity/Inclusion practices as well as through Leadership Development.
I also coach successful leaders that are stuck to reinvent their lives with courage, release their fears, get clarity on their purpose and pursue their dreams.
My teachings, my unique education and experience combined with singular approach to realizing change, form a proven system for long lasting positive transformation. My methodology is based on human psychology, N.L.P. practices and research to break down issues, reverse engineer them, and deconstruct personal myths, while developing personal leadership skills development. It is a simple step by step program, modules, exercises, one on one and group coaching.
I am the author of “49 things about Entrepreneurship: That experts do not want you to know” on Amazon.
This is my TED TALK : Overcoming Negative Thoughts