Facebook Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health Acceptance in the Workplace

Facebook Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health Acceptance in the Workplace

Facebook recently held a live watch video of the cast and producer of “Dear Evan Hansen” speaking about mental health in children and teens and another about mental health in the workplace. Considering Facebook is the most popular social media website, its large team is helping to break the stigma of mental health in the workplace. Facebook believes they can help break the stigma of mental health in the workplace by its three core principles- increasing awareness, improving access to care, and creating peer-to-peer support.

Facebook’s Panel of Dear Evan Hansen

In the panel at Facebook’s New York office, producer Stacey Mindich spoke about how her show “Dear Evan Hansen”, a musical about a teenager with social anxiety and depression becomes part of a lie that involves pretending to be friends with another student who committed suicide, speaks about the importance of human relationships. The more people communicate with each other, the more people will realize that they are not alone. That by speaking to your parents, children, and friends can make an impact in saving their lives.

Mindich wanted to be able to tell this story to show different ways that parents are with their children and how it is still a challenge to be able to speak to your kids. That it is not always about how the conversation takes place, but about a parent being able to sit there and just listen to their kid speaking about any issues they are facing. 

Increasing Awareness

In order for Facebook to help increase awareness, their goal is to make it easier for employees to feel comfortable talking about mental health issues in the workplace. Employees need to realize that their careers will not be affected by speaking out about their mental illnesses. Because Facebook has a large team, it was easy for them to create an environment where different seniority levels and offices all over the world feeling comfortable sharing their stories. By having different people work at Facebook, more people felt confident with themselves opening up. It also helps that Facebook used #OpenUp to encourage employees to speak about their mental health battles, coping mechanisms, and success stories online.

Improving Access to Quality Care

The first way to improve quality care is allowing flexibility to get the quality care that employees need to thrive in the workplace. Facebook encourages employees to work hours that they feel comfortable with. This will help them be able to work space in their schedules to be able to attend therapy or go to a doctor’s appointment. 

The second way is giving employees access to resourceful care plans. While there are businesses that offer three in-house therapy sessions to employers, Facebook does not think that it is enough to get to the root of an employee’s mental illness. The alternative that Facebook provides is by partnering with a mental health provider called Lyra to provide each person 25 therapy sessions for free. This has helped employees show up at work and have a more positive attitude in the workplace. The third way is in the Menlo Park office in California where there are 12 or 13 on-site counselors also provided with Lyra. 

Peer-to-Peer Support

In order to achieve the effects of employees being able to talk and support each other through their mental illnesses, Facebook used an online collaboration tool of their creation called “Workplace.” Because the #OpenUp campaign was a success in having employees share their stories, struggles, and successes within the workplace, Facebook realized that smaller groups within Facebook were facing or faced in the past struggles with their mental health. Lead Software Facebook Engineer Rafi Romero was one of the first employees to share their story in the group after wanting to tell the truth to his employees for a long time. He said that the experience was both terrifying and liberating in being able to share his story.

Three-Prong Approach for Smaller Companies

Renee Albert, director of Facebook’s Life@ benefits program, has a three way approach for smaller companies to have more confidence opening up about their mental illnesses. One way is by creating focus groups and challenging employees to talk about the actual problem that they need solutions for. Mental illnesses can be very broad in that you have anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, OCD, eating disorders, anger management, addiction, etc. By getting to understand the root of a problem, you will know better what to do about it.

The second way is through redefining what quality care looks like. This means partnering with vendors that can help encourage employees about telling their stories and implementing strategies throughout the workplace. When Facebook decided to partner with Lyra, Facebook can provide better quality care to their employees. The third way is for employers to create a culture that lets people have open discussions about mental health. While employees already talk about mental health outside of work, it may be hard for them to talk about it in the office in fear of losing their job. If we are already having these conversations naturally with our friends and families, there should be no problem to be able to speak about mental illness to your co-workers and even to your boss. With a large company like Facebook breaking the stigma of how to better mental health talks in the workplace, more big or small companies can be inspired to do the same. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center using evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Learning to be Conscious of Our Stress Levels

Learning to be Conscious of Our Stress Levels

Many of us living with addiction have managed to bury our deepest emotions for so long that we aren’t aware of how much stress we’re actually living with on a daily basis. We prioritize everything over our mental health – our responsibilities and obligations, our daily schedules, our relationships and the people we take care of. When we experience toxic levels of stress on a regular basis, our overall health can slowly decline. Our mental, emotional and physical health can all suffer. Our addictions become our default coping mechanism. When we’re working towards recovery, it’s so important to learn how to be conscious of our stress levels so that we can manage them and find healthy ways to cope.

There are some signs that can help us to pinpoint when our stress has reached toxic levels. We can experience excessive anxiety, worry and panic that distract us from being able to focus and interfere with our ability to cope with daily life. When stress accumulates to dangerous levels, we can feel increasingly depressed and despondent. We feel unable to keep up with the demands of our responsibilities. We feel easily overwhelmed and triggered.

When we’re experiencing acute stress, we might have more severe mood swings than we’re normally used to. We might find that our emotions fluctuate dramatically. We might be more reactive with other people and take things personally more often. We might feel like people are out to get us, or like we’re being victimized. We might feel powerless to stand up for ourselves, and we may feel uncomfortable in our environment.

Heightened stress can affect our thought patterns. We can feel our minds race and feel as though our thoughts are out of our control. We might obsess more about the things that are bothering us. We might have a harder time controlling our emotions and feel like we can’t calm ourselves down whenever we’re upset.

Healing our stress levels requires investigating the underlying issues causing our stress. We have to look beyond the daily stressors and surface problems to examine the deeper factors increasing our stress levels. Sometimes our stress can be attributed to unhealed trauma, unresolved conflict or unhealed internal issues. We might need to do some conflict resolution and deeper inner healing before we see a reduction in our stress. It’s so important that we learn to practice self-care and mindfulness to help ourselves heal from stress. Meditating, committing to a spiritual practice and having a regular exercise routine are all especially helpful in managing stress.

At Enlightened Solutions, our unique treatment programs offer clients long-lasting results by focusing on all aspects of a natural recovery process. We believe in healing holistically – mind, body and spirit. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.