Oct 10th is a big day. This year’s World Mental Health Day marks 25 years of more than 150 countries coming together to participate in raising awareness, bridging gaps, continuing the discussion, fighting the stigma, and educating the public on mental health awareness.

This year’s theme highlights ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ in an effort to remind all to be cognizant that not all disabilities are visible, physical or permanent and to debunk the stigma associated with a mental health diagnosis.

The stigma around mental health remains a large problem in all communities. Michael Burge, recipient of the Order of Australia Medal for his work and dedication to the mental health community, stated, “…the biggest challenge and the real barrier we face in reducing stigma and discrimination worldwide is not only culture, but how people who are living with mental health issues are negatively portrayed publicly, privately, and whilst in care or in their communities.”

In order to do your part, try incorporating some of these general practices in the workplace and promote a positive environment for all.

DO: demonstrate you care

DON’T: make judgments about a person’s response or reaction to events

DO: communicate your needs to the appropriate staff member(s) for any accommodation

DON’T: allow careless comments to be made about mental health

The workplace can be an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. In some instances, it may be beneficial for individuals to seek resources and counseling. Check out MentalHealth.gov for facts and myths about mental health, to discover some possible early warning signs, and to learn how you can help to promote mental health wellness. To learn more about World Mental Health Day, as well as other solutions you can use for a more inclusive workplace, go here.

Contact your local EFMP office to learn more about local support groups, resources, materials and more. You can also contact Military Onesource or your Community Counseling for help.