We believe Pride Month impacts not only the LGBTQ+ community, but everyone who struggles with their self-image, including introverts, social outcasts, those with eating disorders, or who have negative feelings about their body, lack confidence, or have low self-esteem. It can be hard to feel comfortable in your own skin, but Pride Month’s message encourages us to embrace ourselves and be proud of whoever we are.
Many years ago, seeing a psychiatrist, or “shrink” as it was commonly and inappropriately referred to, was for the “unhealthy” and “mentally unstable.” It was looked down upon, and if you saw one, people deemed you “not well.” Luckily, that is not the case anymore. Mental health counseling is, generally, much more accepted, and can be effective in helping anyone struggling with life issues, big or small. It is always best to talk about and confront your emotions, rather than keep them bottled up.
Many triggers cause one to develop a mental illness. Some are genetic; some stem from environmental issues such as childhood trauma and stress at school or work; some are undetermined. Regardless, these illnesses are as real as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, cancer, and other severe medical conditions, but unlike most medical conditions, often mental health issues are stigmatized. Some people may think these conditions are self-inflicted; some do not believe they are real. When people suffering from these conditions reach out for help, they may hear replies such as “man up” or “stop worrying about it,” as if it were that easy.
Workers have been leaving the healthcare industry in droves over the past few years. Since February, 2020, hospital employment has decreased by nearly 94,000, including over 8,000 between August and September, 2021, alone. Another study predicted there will be a critical shortage of 3.2 million healthcare workers by 2026. Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have been the last straw for healthcare workers, long shifts, little time off, and hectic work environments were other driving forces behind the decision to quit.
If you are in school, have a job, bills to pay, or family/friends to care for, you probably deal with stress often. In other words, stress affects everyone and is almost unavoidable. Studies estimate that 84% of Americans deal with stress weekly, and the only way to overcome it is to change your thinking and face it head on.