Openness About Mental Health Issues Is Now the New Black

“Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are. This is an everyone thing.” Kevin Love, NBA Cleveland Cavaliers 

Have you seen the article in where celebrities open up about mental health issues? If you haven’t, we encourage you to do so (it’s listed as a two-minute read)—and, if you have, what did you think?

As for us, we applaud the celebrities who are willing to be so open about their experiences, especially since 44 million Americans deal with mental health challenges each and every year. And, to quote the article, “these public admissions encourage others, perhaps fearing ridicule themselves, to openly discuss their mental health trials and tribulations.”

The writer is, it seems, cautiously optimistic about the future, adding how, “We are making progress on mental health; indeed, there has been a collective (re)awakening of mental health’s searing impact on families and communities. And for, in part, forcing us to confront an uncomfortable reality — mental health affects us all, these celebrities deserve kudos. These conversations, as we know, won’t be easy. But as Demi and DeMar and Logic and Love prove, attitudes toward mental health are a-changin’. ”

We see more and more openness about this topic that has been kept hidden for too long. Marie Claire shares stories of twenty-four celebrities and their various battles in mental health.  After sustaining several serious injuries his freshman year of college, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson experienced his “first of three depressions.” 

Mental Wellness and Mindfulness

Book seller Barnes and Noble is reflecting this shift in a look at what people are reaching for on the shelves. Tracking the hottest topics in publications they report a change in best sellers running for the last 15 years of physical health and weight loss to this year’s best selling topics now covering mental wellness and mindfulness. 

Prince Harry told The Telegraph that he “shut down all his emotions” for almost two decades after the death of his mother, Princess Diana. It wasn’t until he was 28 years old — during a period of time when he felt “very close to a complete breakdown” and faced anxiety during royal engagements — that he began to see a professional to address his grief. In 2016, he started the Heads Together campaign with Prince William and Kate Middleton to help “end the stigma around mental health issues.” 

October is Mental Health Awareness Day that seeks to raise awareness with a different theme each year. 2018 focused on the rising tide of need for mental wellness in the young and adolescent.  10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. 

How to Have a Conversation About Mental Health Issues

If you’re dealing with mental health challenges yourself, maybe you’re wondering how open you ought to be. To help, we found this practical article by the National Alliance on Mental Illness that suggests you carefully determine:

  • Whom to tell: Share with people, the article suggest, whom you trust. You can also “test” the conversation first, maybe by talking about a book or movie that has a character with mental illness. See how the other person reacts before disclosing anything about yourself.
  • When to tell: Once you’ve identified the right person (or people) to tell, pick the right moment to have the conversation. 
  • How to start the conversation: You can simply tell him or her. Or, you could let the person know ahead of time that you want to share something important. This can prepare the other person and provide some context. 
  • What to share: It can help to give specific examples of how your mental health issues can affect you.
  • How much to share: You don’t need to tell the other person everything all at once. You can share in steps, revealing what you’re comfortable discussing.

An expert quoted on the site suggests that you be a “bit conservative about the process,” sharing in steps. The result, fortunately, is that the “majority of people who come out and tell their story feel more empowered.”

The advantages of sharing include that this trusted person may provide you with support and encouragement, help you get any needed treatments, be a sounding board and serve as someone to call in a crisis. Disadvantages of sharing include that the person may not be as supportive as you’d hoped and may, in fact, back away from you—and may even tell others what you shared in confidence. So, choose the “whom” part carefully.

Focusing on Mental Health Causes, Not Symptoms

It’s our hope that, as more attention is being paid towards mental health issues, there is a significant focus on the causes of these challenges. That’s because we believe that addressing root causes will bring us closer to solutions.

Some causes listed by include:

  • Issues with nerve cell pathways that connect parts of the brain
  • Brain injuries or defects
  • Genetics
  • Infections
  • Prenatal damage
  • Substance abuse
  • Poor nutrition
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Severe psychological trauma
  • Important early loss
  • Neglect
  • Environmental stressors

We’ve created a helpful online mental wellness assessment that you can benefit from right here, right now.


About Roger & Jane Hardy

Roger and Jane created Hardy Healthy Gut to show you that every problem in life is easier to solve when your mind and body are working properly.
And you don't have to be a health nut or fitness enthusiast to enjoy a mind & body that's firing on all cylinders.

All it takes are simple, daily habits that get easier and easier with practice.

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Now we look forward to the future and we're enjoying getting older!

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All of this is possible for you too, my friend!

So thank you for being here. I hope you use these tips to transform your life and enjoy retirement as much as we have!

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