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Mental Health : 10/10 is World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this day is celebrated once a year to “raise awareness on mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.” Observed on October 10 every year since 1992, this year marks the 25th anniversary as well.

This year’s theme is mental health in the workplace the reason being that “adults spend a lot of time at work.” WHO proceeded to explain that “a negative working environment may result to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.”

WHO mentioned depression and anxiety disorders as the leading cause of disability worldwide with 300 million and 260 million sufferers respectively and many people are said to be living with both. These two mental disorders are considered to have an impact not only on our ability to work but also to our productivity the most. The effect of depression and anxiety disorders are staggering and these disorders actually “cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.”

For the LGBT community, coming out in the workplace is particularly stressful because it is risky in the sense that their jobs are on the line not to mention it could trigger other forms of discrimination and bullying.

Forget the workplace; LGBT in the US in general has a higher prevalence of mental disorders because of “discrimination, societal stigma, and denial of their civil and human rights.” In fact, LGBT are three times more likely to suffer from a mental health disorder as compared to heterosexual ones; they are “2.5 times more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance misuse.”

But for the LGBT youth, the likelihood is so much higher as they are “four times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts, and engage in self-harm, as compared to youths that are straight.” Transgender people on the other hand, experience suicidal thoughts more at 38 to 65%.

If you, or anyone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. You may also click here for options. On the other hand, A4A members and readers outside of United States may click this.

Having said all that, last July the story of a woman who asked for a sick leave for mental health went viral largely due to her boss’s positive response and her courage for telling him the truth.

If it were you, would you have told your boss the truth? Why or why not? As gay and bisexual men, what are the challenges that you face in your workplace? Share with us your thoughts and stories in the comments section below.

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  1. Jay

    OMG. Mental health is very prevalent and I think gets worse with age. I’ve met guys in their 20s and now in their 30s or 40s that have made major mental turns. Some can’t even pay their bills any longer and are on disability. Doesn’t seem to matter either if they’re gay or straight because I know examples of both that are almost entirely different people now. These online dating sites are not much help because I can deal quite well with rejection but the guys with a few problems up there will stay up for days, get into depression, or become as negative, almost hostile. Some of these guys are just as handsome as the guy in the pic above in person. They tend to be affectionate, appreciative, and selfless when treated like a human being.

    • JETS

      I agree 100%.
      2 years ago I came out, finally accepting myself, and hoping to finally live an honest life. I was also hoping to add love and a relationship to my life as well. What I discovered instead was a world full of shallow, cruel men. In the past two years I have thought more about suicide, then I have ever before in my 35 years. I used to love life. I used to smile and laugh 24/7. I used to crave being around people. Now I dread getting out of bed, because once I do I know the act begins. See its easier to put on a smile and act like life is fine, then have everyone ask if you’re OK. Every night I come home completely drained, seeking solitude so that I can recharge for the next day. Every night I send a silent prayer to the universe that in the morning I’ll wake up, and magically like women more then men, because I know that if I did I wouldn’t be damned to live a completely solitary life. People always say “be patient you just haven’t found the right guy.” Yet every time I get on A4A, OkCupid, Match, hell even Growlr and Grindr I am quickly reminded by someone that I’m not welcome in this world of perfect muscle underwear models and porn stars.
      Oh well.
      I’m sorry.

  2. Hunter0500

    “For the LGBT community, coming out in the workplace is particularly stressful..”

    Then why do it? Everyone in the workplace does not need to know what a co-worker does in the bedroom and with whom. Anyone who is gay can be gay without the need for a party, or a parade, or big reveal where everyone congratulates them on the sexual orientation God gave them. Individuals who choose to come out bring on whatever additional stressors may result upon themselves.

    Discussed this with a bud recently who had started a new job several months ago. He said he didn’t hide the fact that he was gay but only brought it up in one-on-one conversations with co-workers which included what his plans were with his partner/roommate or other buds for the weekend, vacation, etc. No one he has discussed his orientation with has had any issues.

    Being gay, it seems, is only an issue if it’s made one. Come out, tell everyone they have to know, throw it in everyone’s face, be an attention whore, etc. … yeah, most people won’t care, but the response won’t always be rainbows from everyone.

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