It is so sad to me that we are in the year 2022 and mental health still has a negative stigma to it- negative enough that people are ashamed to even talk about it.

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I was born into a very strict military family and have heard it all from "man up," to "don't cry," to "your feelings don't matter." I am in no way slamming my family but I do understand what it's like to have to square my shoulders, set my eyes ahead, and forge on even when everything inside of me feels like it's dying.

Mental heath struggles are very much real and while there are times and places when one must "buck up" as my Army dad used to say, there are other times when the world really does need to come to a standstill so that we can address our mental health concerns.

Did you know that one in four employees say that their job has led to so much mental stress that they’ve quit? Work situations, unhealthy ones, can cause a load of damage to a person. According to Job Sage, two in five people say that next to finances, their job has the worst impact on their mental health. Two in five. Look around your office. Two in five people that you work with may be silently suffering from an awful and quiet mental health war.

What’s more is that even though a large number of people are struggling, one in five are still not comfortable approaching their boss to request time off for a mental health day so that they can clear their head, recharge, and come back stronger.

Although one in five people say they aren’t comfortable admitting that they  need  a mental health day, 77 percent of employees say that they’ve taken a day off for the sole purpose of mentally getting back on track.

If you are struggling with mental health concerns and feel like you have nowhere to turn or aren't comfortable turning to your employer, family, or friends, you can always lean on the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier (MHAS). MHAS is a local non-profit organization and is the oldest oldest continuously operating Mental Health Association in New York State. If you need help, the Peer Support Warm Line is available any time of the day or night at 607-240-7291.

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