Mental health struggles are more common than you may think. The National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMI) reports that at least one in five Americans struggle with mental health issues, yet more than half of those affected by a mental health condition never receive treatment. The fear of being defined by a diagnosis or judged by peers can influence someone’s decision to reach out for help.
Those stigmas will never be broken without open and honest conversations about mental health. That’s why Premera joined Seattle Kraken’s Riley Sheahan and former Humboldt Bronco Tyler Smith for a special conversation about mental health and healing during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Sheahan and Smith, hosts of the “Speak Your Mind” podcast, use their platform to help people feel more comfortable discussing mental health through interviews with guests in sports and entertainment.
The conversation was recorded for their podcast in front of a live audience on Premera’s campus. Sheahan and Smith shared stories of their own personal mental health journeys and participated in a panel discussion with mental health expert Richard Taylor Jr. and Premera Medical Director Josephine Young. Led by Jen Jones, Premera’s Vice President of Total Rewards, the discussion explored a range of topics. The value of self-compassion, the merits of sharing your emotions and experiences with others, the importance of caring for your mental well-being, and tips on finding the right mental health care providers were just a few. Listen to the episode here.
The fact is, it’s OK not to be OK. By sharing our experiences, we help to create a culture of acceptance, belonging, and a safe environment to talk about all aspects of health — both physical and mental. If you or someone you know is struggling, do not suffer in silence. Resources are available to help.