On average, one in five Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. Among the many challenges 2020 has thrown at us, managing mental health has been a struggle for many. Between the lack of access to mental healthcare to potential stigma Americans face, mental health is often put on the back burner when it really should be our first priority. At SourceCode, we encourage our employees to always put their health and especially mental health first. 

This year, ahead of World Mental Health Day, we asked employees to share what mental healthcare means to them and why it’s so important to prioritize especially right now. Here’s what they had to say:

“To me, mental healthcare is not only having access to counselors or medication but having the freedom to speak openly about it with colleagues. What was once a taboo work topic has steadily become more commonplace to the betterment of employees who deal with mental health issues. Personally, knowing that I can talk about and see my therapist without any repercussions from work is a huge weight off my shoulders, and it makes coming to work more enjoyable.” – Briggs Brady, Account Executive at SourceCode Communications 

“What mental health care looks like for me is going to therapy, working out after work, listening to music that makes me happy and, of course, drinking a cup of coffee when I need a perk-me-up. Lastly, mental health care for me is simply talking about my mental health care openly in hopes that it will encourage others to feel empowered to join the conversation and take care of themselves, as they deserve. Mental health care is especially important right now because many of us experienced drastic changes since the start of the pandemic – from moving states to transitioning to working remotely full time. As we adjust to a new way of living and working, it’s important to take a step back, come back to ourselves, and determine what it is we need to feel whole and happy during this time.” – Rachel Dix-Kessler, Media Strategist at SourceCode Communications 

“Mental health comes in many forms for me, whether that’s through meditation, therapy, yoga, running or even journaling. It changes on the day but whichever of those things it may be, what’s most important is that I listen to my body and take care of it. At the end of the day, I believe mental health is about finding what feeds and protects your soul and doing just that. This year has been filled with the words “uncertain” and “unprecedented.” It’s made us realize how fragile our mental health can be and why it’s that much more important that we take care of it. Despite what’s been happening we’ve had to show up for our families, coworkers, friends, communities, and so much more. But I think this year, in particular, has been a big reminder that we have to start by showing up for ourselves. To me, that means taking care of our mental health in whatever form that looks like, because it only helps us to cope and understand these times that much more.” – Sophia Feleke, Account Manager at SourceCode Communications 

“To me, mental healthcare means actively checking in with myself to take an honest look at how I’m doing. It’s easy to ignore your mental health when you’re not taking the time to check in on yourself on a consistent basis, but it’s much harder to do so when you make it a priority. When I find myself getting a bit anxious, I reach out to a friend or two and brain dump how I’m feeling. It often helps to show that I’m not as alone as it feels from the kitchen in my apartment! Luckily enough, my coworkers double as my friends, so I don’t even have to leave Slack to feel supported. With that, I try to proactively check in on my friends weekly by asking questions that make them feel like I’m there for them if they need to talk, too. During this time, I’ve found that taking morning walks forces me to get some fresh air before I start the day. I can feel my mood shift immediately upon stepping outside, and the days I don’t get outside are often the ones that are a bit more of a struggle to keep positive. Reading has helped me to take care of my mental health (21 books and counting this year, woo), along with finding new music to geek out over. And hey, sometimes it’s just about going to bed at 9:30 after watching three episodes of Riverdale by myself.  That’s what I call #selfcare” – Allie Novak, Senior Media Strategist at SourceCode Communications 

At a time when our futures are uncertain making the present more challenging, we need to lean on each other helping to destigmatize managing mental health in the workplace. This will allow us to have more thoughtful and open communication. At SourceCode, we’re committed to putting our employees first, and having these conversations is only one step in the right direction. 

To learn more about how to manage mental health check out, Mental Health America. If you’d like to learn more about SourceCode, please drop us a line at hello@sourcecodecomms.com, we’d love to chat.