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Mental Health Awareness Week – Fighting Stigma

The first week of October is Mental Health Awareness Week and a chance to join the international movement to raise awareness about mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week, Raising awareness for those with mental health challenges - eliminate stigma. At The Layered Onion we support mental health through the arts.

This year the week is centered around the theme “What I Wish I Had Known” and is focused on the power of lived experience. 

October is also National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month and so much more. World Mental Health Day is October 10.

In 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one in every eight people in the world lives with a mental disorder. As Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus notes, “Mental health is a lot more than the absence of illness: it is an intrinsic part of our individual and collective health and well-being… Ultimately, there is no health without mental health.” At The Layered Onion, this is central to our mission and this is an important month.

In a recent Modern Health and Forrester Consulting survey, they highlighted an astounding gap between employers and employees expectations surrounding mental health support. Executives surveyed believe their employees expect too much mental health support (73%); offering mental health benefits is too costly (71%); and mental health benefits should not be a priority current day because they weren’t offered in this capacity in the past (69%). The full report is available for download here.

This is the perfect week to challenge those notions and work together to promote awareness and well-being – both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

Each day, NAMI – the National Alliance on Mental Illness – will elevate the voices of people with lived experience on the following topics:

  • Monday Oct. 3: Stigma
  • Tuesday Oct. 4: Medication [National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding]
  • Wednesday Oct. 5: Therapy
  • Thursday Oct. 6: Disclosing [National Depression Screening Day]
  • Friday Oct. 7: Caregiving

They have a compelling series of videos we recommend checking out – delivered by people with lived experience and talking about what they wish people knew. For example, Krishna Louis speaks on what they wish people knew about anxiety. To truly support, we need to listen and absorb.

Stigma is out there – we all know this to be true. This is why we speak out – to advocate for each other and others. To give courage to those who have a moment where they need it. To educate the public about mental illness.

Though we have come a long way, we still have far to go. There is hope here, though – in the work that we and so many others are doing. In employees raising their voices and advocating for mental health support. There is a lot to be inspired by.

We are proud to be on this journey with you all.