New Way Now

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

By: Schatzie Brunner

With the news we’ve been suffering through over the past few weeks, it is easy to focus on mental health and to feel as if it is everywhere. And it seems to be.

But I want to talk about mental health where many of us spend our days, and that’s at work.

We may be able to quote the American Psychiatric Association’s latest statistics that say those with diagnosable depression occurs in 1 in 3 people whereas before the pandemic the statistic quoted for diagnosable depression was 1 in 5 people.

What are we doing to change our workplace culture when it is where we spend the most time?

Not much, it seems. So, let’s look at possible reasons why this is so. From my past years working with my non-profit, New Way Now, I’ve found that it is challenging to book speaking engagements in the corporate world. And I’ve asked around to understand why that is.

I’ve learned that the only way to educate corporations is not to talk about it with a standard human resources department but to first present to the leaders in upper management in terms they might understand. For instance, United States corporations lose 200 billion dollars a year due to depression, according to research.

And even with that shocking number (and there are lots more), upper management doesn’t seem to be more sensitive to the costs in people and dollars.

The answer might be found in all the leadership training we’ve been doing for the past 10 to 15 years. Maybe we’ve come to believe that when leadership is right for a company, all is right with the rest of the world.

Sadly, that just isn’t true. Those of us who suffer from emotional pain can hide in plain sight. Why? Because we are such great actors! And great deniers!

It is time for upper management, the top leaders in the company, to understand what is happening every day right in front of us.

Invite me talk to your top management about how easy it is to miss the signs of silent suffering, which are so devastating to the bottom line. I’d like to tell my story virtually via Zoom to make it as convenient as possible to receive the message. Schedule a time with me today to discuss how I can help your organization navigate mental health in the workplace.

This article pulls insights from the American Psychiatric Association and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

About the Author: Schatzie Brunner

Schatzie Brunner launched New Way Now in 2018 to break the mental health stigma, focused on helping businesses foster happier and healthier workforces.

Schatzie, a former CNN anchor, celebrated author, and depression awareness advocate, spent decades struggling with depression in silence. Known as Barbara Brunner on the air at CNN, Schatzie played out what most people with depression know and hopes to teach the rest of us, that The Face of Depression is not what you may expect.