Mental Health Is Still a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Subject at Work
Most conditions go largely un-discussed at a huge cost for business
Aaron Harvey is co-founder of Ready Set Rocket, a boutique advertising firm that’s done campaigns for fashion brand Michael Kors, pop star Rihanna’s fragrance, and upscale salad eatery Sweetgreen. He knows how to sell a lifestyle that people want to associate with. He’s also spent decades secretly living with a rare form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fed up with a corporate world in which it’s not OK to talk about that, he’s applying his branding skills to a topic that people generally try to avoid: mental health.
Since the dawn of the corporate office park, mental health has been relegated to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” limbo of the American workplace. People who’ve been diagnosed with a condition such as depression or anxiety aren’t inclined to open up to bosses and colleagues.
Shame and stigma prevent some 80 percent of sufferers from seeking help, according to one report. These are expensive problems to keep hidden. Depression alone costs the U.S. economy $210 billion a year, half of which is shouldered by employers in the form of missed work and lost productivity.
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