World Suicide Prevention Day: 10 September 2020

Photographer: Thembela “Nymless” Ngayi

According to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness – that’s roughly 450 million people – placing it among the leading causes of ill health and disability. Although there is an increase in the number and frequency of conversations about mental illness, there are still barriers that prevent us from creating safe space for the people around us who suffer from mental illness; misinformation, ignorance, discrimination, bias, social stigmas, etc.

As far as misinformation goes, many people don’t understand that mental illness is medical problem that is defined as conditions that influence changes in emotion, thinking and behaviour. One example of mental illness is depression, which is predicted to become the leading health condition by 2030. Depression is also at times a factor in cases where people die by suicide.

Life, under “normal” circumstances can be incredibly strenuous, especially for people who suffer from mental illness, and when you add the impact of a global pandemic that has restricted access to support and resources for so many, life can look and feel unimaginably bleak and despair can creep in. That is why it’s so important for us to educate ourselves and each other about mental illness and learn how to hold space for people who are battling mental illness.

When I started my podcast The Workplace Revolution earlier this year, I made a conscious decision to include multiple conversations relating to different aspects of mental health and mental illness because I firmly believe that we all have a responsibility to help each other through in any way we can. Below are links to the episodes about mental health. Give them a listen. There’s so much to learn and understand about the complexities of mental illness. 

If you suffer from mental illness, are working on your healing or could just use some comfort, I send you love.

Mental health, mental illness and how it manifests itself in the workplace and in our social circles (A conversation with Pabi Kgadima): listen.

Being young, Black & grappling with the responsibility of taking care of our loved ones (A conversation with Jacqueline Joyce): listen.

Navigating race-based trauma, imposter syndrome & activism (A conversation with Dr. Ayanna Abrams): listen.

Mental Health in Black Communities and the Workplace (A conversation with Takeya McCollum): listen.

You can also watch the Konnekted webinar below, where mental health and healing your mind featured extensively.

Video: Sihle Bolani (YouTube)
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Sihle Bolani

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