Mental health has received a great deal of attention in recent years, highlighting the need for a more thorough knowledge of mental health in many social situations (Howard & Khalifeh, 2020). As I consider the materials and assignments offered in Modules One and Two, I am driven to investigate the topic of mental health from a personal view in various social situations. In addition, I spoke with a family member from a different generation to gain their perspective on the issue since their perspective may give essential insights into how society’s approach to mental health has changed in this essay. I will discuss my personal views as well as those of a family member, as well as an example of the CEO’s response to an employee’s complaint.
Understanding Mental Health in Social Contexts
Before we delve into the conversation with my family member and the case study of the CEO’s response to an employee’s mental health request, it is essential to understand the broader context of mental health in society. Mental health exists on a range, and it is crucial to recognize that every individual falls somewhere on this spectrum (Keeley, 2021). This understanding is fundamental when discussing mental health, as it emphasizes the uniqueness of each person’s experience and challenges the stigmatization of mental health conditions.
Based on my knowledge and understanding of mental health, I believe it is not a plastic term. I have come across friends and coworkers who have struggled with mental illness throughout the years, and each one has a unique tale to relate to. Some fought in private, while others sought assistance in public. Despite the fact that society’s opinion of and support for mental health is changing, we are still a long way from removing the stigma. Given my reactions to persons suffering from mental illnesses, I must admit that my understanding has grown. In my younger years, I could have been less empathic and more prone to misinterpreting or even criticizing people in need; however, as I become more familiar with the complexity of mental health. I learnt to approach people with empathy, putting their humanity ahead of their circumstances.
My Family Member’s Perspective
I met with my late fifties uncle to obtain a multigenerational perspective on mental health. He shared his thoughts on how mental health was seen when he was younger and how it has grown through time. My uncle said that when he was younger, mental health was a taboo issue (Ali et al., n.d.). He recalled the prevalent idea that individuals should “tough it out” and that seeking treatment for mental health difficulties was generally viewed as a sign of weakness.
As the talk progressed, my uncle told a personal anecdote of a close friend who experienced severe mental health difficulties in the 1980s. His friend’s hardship mainly remained hidden, and when he did seek aid, he was faced with suspicion and a scarcity of resources. As a result, his friend’s agony was prolonged, and help was fatally delayed.
My uncle went on to express his delight that attitudes about mental health had shifted dramatically in recent years. He stated that society today recognizes the significance of discussing mental health freely and without shame. He also emphasized how the availability of services and support networks has grown, making it easier for people to get the help they require. He highlighted the need to treat people with self-respect and kindness regardless of their mental condition.
CEO’s Response to an Employee’s Mental Health Request
The example of a CEO’s response to an employee’s mental health request, as reported by News.com.au in 2017, exemplifies the obstacles and advancements in understanding mental health in social situations. The CEO’s email answer to an employee’s request for a “mental health day” in the article went viral, eliciting both acclaim and condemnation (AU, 2017).
The CEO began by acknowledging the employee’s request and expressing support for the significance of mental wellness. However, it also conveyed suspicion, implying that the employee’s generation was too sensitive. The CEO mentioned that taking time off for mental health would not have been considered during his early career. He ended the email with a message of encouragement but cautioned the employee to anticipate a different level of empathy from all future employers.
This instance demonstrates numerous critical issues of mental health in social environments (Low et al., 2020). For starters, it reflects shifting views regarding mental health, in which people are more upfront about their issues and the necessity of resolving them. The employee’s request demonstrates the rising importance of mental health in the workplace.
However, the CEO’s reaction highlights the age divide in mental health awareness. While the CEO offered his support, he also expressed concern about the younger generation’s attitude towards mental health (Grob, 2019). This highlights the difficulties of linking the generational divide in understanding mental health as well as the necessity for ongoing education and awareness.
Furthermore, the CEO’s speech raises worries about the level of help that individuals may expect in various social circumstances. While the CEO acknowledged the importance of mental health, his statement about future firms not being as understanding shows that support may not be consistent across different organizations. This difference emphasizes the need for more comprehensive and consistent professional mental health help techniques.
Support and Complications in Mental Health.
As I reflect on the personal and generational perspectives on mental health, it is evident that progress has been made in recognizing its importance. However, there are still various levels of support and complications that individuals face when living with a mental health condition (Organization, 2022).
Support Systems: Mental illness support services include therapy, counselling, drugs, and community services. Companies are introducing mental health initiatives to support employees, but the quality and availability of these services may vary depending on geographical location, financial resources, and employment climate.
Stigma: Despite progress, mental health stigma persists, with many fearing judgment or discrimination. The CEO’s response to an employee’s request highlights the need for ongoing education and awareness to eradicate this stigma despite a more welcoming culture. Addressing antiquated attitudes towards mental health is crucial for a more inclusive and practical approach.
Intersectionality: A personal perspective emphasizes the importance of understanding and addressing the overlapping variables that influence mental health experiences, such as gender, race, financial level and cultural background, to ensure individuals receive appropriate help and overcome challenges.
Preventive Measures: While there is a greater emphasis on assisting those who already have mental health issues, there is still work to be done in terms of prevention. Stress management and resilience building should be emphasized as part of our society’s approach to mental health. In this sense, education and awareness initiatives might be beneficial.
Mental health, a complex and evolving concept, necessitates a ‘person first perspective’ for comprehensive understanding across diverse social contexts (Blakemore, 2019). Reflecting on my journey, insights from my family members, and the CEO’s response to an employee’s mental health request, it’s evident that strides have been made in recognizing mental health’s significance. However, we must persist in DE stigmatization, bridge generational understanding gaps, and ensure consistent support for those with mental health conditions. Our commitment to education, preventive measures, and fostering a society where individuals are treated with empathy and respect, irrespective of their mental health, can pave the way for a future where mental well-being is valued (Patnaik, 2021).
Ali, S., Harrichand, J., Shillingford, M., & Herbert, L. (n.d.). A Qualitative Investigation of Guyanese American Perceptions of Mental Health. The Professional CounselorTM, 13(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.15241/sa.13.1.1
AU, N. (2017, July 11). Sick days for mental health get unexpected response from CEO. NewsComAu. https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/ceos-reply-to-employee-mental-health-sick-day-email-goes-viral/news-story/8a0b4fd691dd5360cdd201e6e49a5e91
Blakemore, S.-J. (2019). Adolescence and mental health. The Lancet, 393(10185), 2030–2031. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(19)31013-x
Grob, G. N. (2019). Mental Illness and American Society, 1875-1940. In Google Books. Princeton University Press. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=X1mYDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=he+also+expressed+concern+about+the+younger+generation%27s+attitude+towards+mental+health&ots=DtEhFS185b&sig=gpNC3x_JyXVy7_Se3f50dlHJXOc&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
Howard, L. M., & Khalifeh, H. (2020). Perinatal Mental health: a Review of Progress and Challenges. World Psychiatry, 19(3), 313–327. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20769
Keeley, B. (2021). The State of the World’s Children 2021: On My Mind–Promoting, Protecting and Caring for Children’s Mental Health. In ERIC. UNICEF. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED615261
Low, D. M., Rumker, L., Talkar, T., Torous, J., Cecchi, G., & Ghosh, S. S. (2020). Natural Language Processing Reveals Vulnerable Mental Health Support Groups and Heightened Health Anxiety on Reddit During COVID-19: Observational Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(10), e22635. https://doi.org/10.2196/22635
Organization, W. H. (2022, June 16). World mental health report: transforming mental health for all. Archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu. https://archive.hshsl.umaryland.edu/handle/10713/20295
Patnaik, D. G. (2021). Positive Psychology for Improving Mental Health & Well-Being. In Google Books. Notion Press. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XLEcEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT5&dq=Our+commitment+to+education