• Mental health: Let’s talk about it

    DATE: 10/01/2020

    Published by: Horiens

    While I ask Alexa to turn on the office lights, I find myself thinking about how revolutionary technology is. How it has increasingly become part of our lies, and it has opened a thousand doors, increasing the speed of life, breaking down physical barriers and even bringing us closer to other people, even when the best – and only – medicine is to distance yourself.

    But when talk about mental health, there many other things, uncertainties and challenges of living in an increasingly complex world we must consider, in addition to this life accelerated by technology and a lifestyle and culture very much guided by it. It’s no small thing.

    The covid-19 pandemic is an example of the issues we have to face, as it has brought to light the fears that many people had not felt with such intensity, like the feeling of vulnerability almost all the time, social isolation and their emotional battles, the restriction of freedom to come and go, and the ubiquitous insecurity generated by the economy instability.

    More than ever, we need to learn how to deal with a complex environment of stress and challenges.  If before we knew that the community’s mental health in the 21st century was already in the spotlight, now, with this “new normal” situation, there is more highlight.

    Some data released by the WHO draw attention to mental health. More than 90% of suicide cases are linked to mental disorders and could be prevented, if the causes were handled correctly. The WHO has emphasized that “the impact of the pandemic makes this whole situation more worrying.”

    Taking advantage of the discussions on the “Yellow September” campaign, I would like to make some reflections. What can we do about it, since work is the activity that takes most of people’s productive time? Are we talking and doing enough, considering that mental illnesses are among the first three causes of absence from work in our country, according to the Ministry of Health?

    I believe that the first step is to recognize the main mental health risks and act on them. We are talking about factors like fast social change (like the one we are experiencing!), stressful working conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, violation of human rights and even of the quality of employees alignment with the business strategy and the organization’s ability to evolve and connect with its time.


    Mental health is a serious matter, we, as individuals,  and also as a society, need to lose the fear and prejudice  to talk about it. In the work environment, it is important to keep an active listening, put the matter on the agenda, demystify mental illness, in addition to working continuously to promote a healthy environment, always remembering that health is not only the absence of disease, but also a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being.

    So I invite you to share good practices and ideas. In your work environment, what actions contribute to the creation or maintenance of a healthy environment? From the mental health point of view, what lessons can we learn in the current scenario? What can we do for ourselves? Together – and talking about it – we can go further.


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