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Nevada organization calls for greater Latino engagement in politics; Gov. Gavin Newsom appears to change course on transgender rights; Nebraska Tribal College builds opportunity 'pipelines,' STEM workforce.'

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House Republicans deadlock over funding days before the government shuts down, a New Deal-style jobs training program aims to ease the impacts of climate change, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared at donor events for the right-wing Koch network.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Combating Stigma in the Workplace

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Wednesday, May 3, 2023   

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and stigma can be a barrier to talking about this issue, especially in the workplace.

Beth Markley is the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness - or NAMI - in Idaho. She said some people still perceive mental illness as a moral failing, of sorts.

"You wouldn't tell somebody with a broken arm, 'You should just try to get over it,'" said Markley. "But that tends to be the prevailing thought for mental illness and some of the more common manifestations like anxiety and depression."

Markley said employers play the most important role in supporting people's mental health needs, and adds companies and managers should provide employee assistance benefits and give employees time off when they're caring for someone dealing with a mental health issue.

Markley said marginalized communities can be especially impacted by mental health issues at work.

"They might feel as a person of color or someone in a marginalized community that they have to do more, that they have to represent better," said Markley. "So they might be less willing to step forward and somehow let folks down because they represent such a community."

Markley stressed that stigma flourishes in silence and leadership has to come from the top to address this.

She said the reputation of companies that are accommodating and care about the mental well being of their employees gets around - which, in turn, is good for the bottom line.

"Companies that do help combat stigma," said Markley, "those employees tend to be happier and more fulfilled and feel safer, psychologically and otherwise, in their jobs and they'll stay longer."



Disclosure: NAMI Idaho contributes to our fund for reporting on Mental Health. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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