The Surgeon Generals Recommendations for Better Mental Health
Recently we have been hearing more about mental health and emotional wellbeing. The issue has become so prevalent that it is being addressed at all levels. The United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released a framework for improved mental health in the workplace. While this framework speaks to workplace well-being specifically, the concepts are applicable to overall wellbeing and public health and can be applied to our own lives. The framework included five key components.
Protection from Harm
- This addresses the basic human needs for safety and security.
- Aspects such as adequate rest, inclusion, and mental health care can impact feelings of safety
Connection and Community
- We are each part of a larger community, and feeling connection to those around us helps to improve our mental health.
- Connect with members of your community to foster a sense of belonging and support.
- If you work 9-5, attend school, or are a stay-at-home parent, balance is critical to wellbeing.
- Create personal boundaries between your work and rest periods, seek support when needed, and take a break (vacation or otherwise) when you can.
Mattering at Work
- We all need to feel that our tasks have meaning and long to be treated with dignity.
- Try to understand the deeper meaning and larger impact behind your work.
- Create a rich gratitude practice in your daily life.
Opportunity and Growth
- We all need opportunities for growth and learning, regardless of career path.
- Take time to learn a new skill, or to “perfect” an old one.
- Engage in activities that give you a sense of accomplishment regardless of if they lead to income.
We can contribute to making our communities, homes, and places of work engines for mental health and well-being. This framework helps us know where to start. As always, start where you are and do what you can. Every effort towards improvement takes us one step closer to our goals.