Celebrating Mental Health Month at Klang
Wednesday, October 4th
For many of us, October marks a shift in the seasons, with a new crispness in the air, and the anticipation of heaps of Halloween candy. However, it also holds significant importance as Mental Health Month. At Klang, this is a time when we pause to reflect, raise awareness, and work towards dispelling the numerous stigmas that still, unfortunately, surround mental health issues.
What is Mental Health?
A lot of the time, people mistake mental health for the absence of mental disorders or illnesses.
However, it is really much more than that. When we actually break it down, mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Like so many things in life, mental health is a spectrum, ranging from flourishing well-being to severe conditions that make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. What do we mean by this? Well, a person can be in good mental health even if they have a mental illness, just as someone can be in poor physical health but not have a diagnosable disease. This distinction is important because it shows us that everyone has mental health needs, whether or not they have a mental illness. So let's talk about how we can make sure those needs are met.
Before we can dive into ways to care for our own and other people’s mental health, we first have to address stigmas. Stigmas about mental health include ideas like, “mental health struggle is a sign of weakness”, “people that go to therapy are unstable”, and “talking about mental health is attention-seeking”. Not only are these stigmas negative and based on misconceptions, but they make it really hard for people to share their experiences and seek help (which only perpetuates the cycle of stigma). For some people, these stigmas even become internalized, which can lead to more negative self-talk and even self-harm. Instead of perpetuating them, we want to address and challenge these stigmas! By doing this we can create a safe environment where people are empowered to prioritize their mental well-being and lean on others for support.
How to Give Support
Now, for the big question of how to give support to someone struggling with mental health. The true answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That being said, we believe that understanding and empathy are key. It can really mean a lot, simply to listen actively without casting judgment, offering a safe space for the other person to express their feelings. And while
our instinct might be to provide solutions or minimize their pain with phrases like "things will get better”, and “don’t worry you’re fine”, it's often more helpful to acknowledge the other person’s emotions. Plus, if you feel like things are more serious than you have the ability to help with, encourage them to seek professional help. This doesn’t mean that you failed as a friend, but that you recognize that sometimes people need more experienced support.
There are Resources
It may sound like a cliche but knowledge really is power, especially when navigating the vast ocean of mental health. Luckily, there are many resources out there: from national hotlines to mental health apps to online therapy resources like BetterHelp, It’s Complicated, and 7 Cups and everything in between. There are also some awesome blogs and online resources for mental health topics. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a great place to find information and support, and their blog offers many different stories about all aspects of mental health. If you’re looking to build some community around mental health, check out The Mighty, an online community platform where people connect and share their personal stories with each other.
At Klang, we help support the mental well-being of our Klangers by offering them a couple of different resources. The first tool that we offer is the Calm app, which offers guided meditations, sleep stories, and mindfulness exercises that help with stress, sleep, and overall well-being. We also provide Klangers with access to the ICAS Employee Assistance Program, which gives our team access to round-the-clock counseling (through phone or live chat), with the option for in-person therapy as well. Lastly, (because we understand that physical movement can be a game-changer for mental health) we offer a reimbursement of up to 44 EUR per month for things like gym memberships, personal trainers, etc.
Mental Health Month at Klang
This October, we are kicking off Mental Health Awareness Month with a bang! Throughout the month different Klangers will be sharing their knowledge and experiences with each other through hosting events in areas like meditation, journaling, yoga, and open discussions about mental health topics. There will also be a handful of mindful meals provided by Klang, which will give Klangers the opportunity to enjoy some healthy food together (because yes, food quality does impact our mental well-being!) Overall we hope to create space for Klangers to have candid conversations and share about their mental health journeys with each other. We are looking forward to seeing how Mental Health Month unfolds!