Millennials; Stigma Resistant?

Kristen BellThe fact that more and more celebrities are feeling free to come forward and talk about their mental health challenges is very encouraging. What impresses me (aside from the fact that they stare stigma in the face and say, “Sc*** You,”) they are very articulate about how their mental health challenges affect them professionally and personally. They are also, very well informed about the clinical aspects of their particular challenge, medications they take and how those affect them. One more thing, they are all young, millennials in fact.

The latest to discuss their mental health history is Kristen Bell Kristen’s level of self awareness is both impressive and instructional. Not only does she talk about her challenges, but also about her recovery process and the techniques she uses for staying on-track. 

Kristen talks openly about the stigma associated with mental health challenges and her feelings about them. What she doesn’t tell us however is if she has suffered professionally from her disclosure. When Patty Duke first revealed her mental health challenges in the 60’s and 70’s the entertainment community was no where near as understanding, empathetic, inclusive or, supportive of people with mental health issues as they are now (or at least seem to be.) I would like to think that the entertainment industry HAS created a safe place for people to disclose, discuss and maintain their recovery. If that is the case they can be an example for other industries to follow.

Now, we just have to encourage “regular” people (every-day working folks) with mental health challenges to come forward with their personal stories.

Inslee Announces Study to Determine Shortages of Behavioral Health Professionals

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced that the states Workforce Board, in partnership with the Health Workforce Council, will evaluate current and projected shortages of behavioral health professionals. Behavioral health encompasses mental health as well as behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. The assessment will also address ongoing efforts to integrate primary care and behavioral health to ensure that treatment is better coordinated and that conditions are caught…earlier and treated, or even prevented. It’s not clear currently how many Washington health care professionals offer behavioral health services and if they are adequate in number to meet demand.

“This evaluation will establish a baseline for behavioral health workforce shortages and provide a plan for improving how we coordinate the right services for patients. We need to better understand how and where our citizens are receiving services, identify providers meeting those needs and expand training opportunities. It is crucial for Washingtonians to get the `whole person’ health care services they need.”
Governor Jay Inslee…/inslee-takes-action-address-ch…