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Shining a light on the importance of mental health

Did you know one in five Americans will experience a mental health condition in a given year? This means chances are someone close to you is struggling right now. They are mothers, fathers, children, teachers, friends, family members, coworkers, or maybe even yourself. If you haven’t experienced a mental health concern, it’s important to know that it can be a truly isolating feeling. Plus, talking about mental health in either our personal or professional lives can seem like a risk given the stigma that often surrounds the topic.   

When our content and behavioral health teams at Sharecare began planning how we would recognize Mental Health Awareness Month this May, they wanted not only to unify the message with overall well-being and resilience, but also to spark a dialogue on what mental health means to us all.  

The truth of the matter is that we all feel anxious or sad or mad or overwhelmed at times. It’s what makes us human. That’s why we landed on the theme of “It’s human to…,” reflecting this shared experience and underscoring that when we look closely, our similarities outweigh our differences.  

So, as you continue to explore the suite of Sharecare’s products and platforms this month – whether it’s our flagship app and digital therapeutics or our website and social channels – we hope you will take the opportunity to focus on your own mental well-being, as well as that of those close to you. To support you in that journey, our team created videos, stories, and infographics to help educate and empower each of our members who may be navigating a condition like anxiety, depression, or another that may not have a name or diagnosis just yet.  

Most adults can respond effectively to various forms of emergencies, but would you know what to do if someone was having a mental health emergency? This video features Sharecare advisory board member Dr. Jen Caudle and psychotherapist Rwenshaun Miller as they discuss steps to take and how to ask the right questions. These conversations can be uncomfortable or, for some, even embarrassing; but it isn’t an exaggeration to say it can mean the difference between life and death to acknowledge the struggle and talk about it. By engaging in a compassionate dialogue with one another and “sharing care” when and where we can, we can achieve mental fitness and the ultimate goal of becoming “all together better.” 

This month we also released a new mini course within our Unwinding by Sharecare app that peels away the layers on “everyday addictions.” Everything from online shopping to compulsively checking our phones has been designed to be addictive. The course explores ways to identify and break these addictions using simple mindfulness practices. Our team created a video to help jumpstart these practices with an exercise called five-finger breathing, which can be done anytime you feel anxious or worried.     

We also are excited about our partnership with Jiggy Puzzles through which we’re distributing a special edition puzzle featuring our Unwinding “knot” illustration in further recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. Besides the puzzle being a fun way to focus and reset your mind, 50% of the proceeds from puzzle sales will benefit Mental Health America, the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness. Plus, each puzzle purchase comes with three months of free access to Unwinding by Sharecare. Visit the Jiggy website by May 31 to support this worthy cause.  

Finally, if you aren’t following us on social media already, please be sure to join us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as we continue this vital conversation on mental health. You just might find a tip, trick, or technique that can help in the moment – and taking even one small step could be the difference-maker for you or a loved one.