How are you doing?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month which should serve as a reminder to check-in genuinely with yourself and others. From personal experiences of losing friends to suicide, I know some of the most vibrant and successful people can be fighting mental battles that they aren’t talking about. We are also in the midst of a crisis of mental health among American teens, with four in 10 teens feeling “persistently sad or hopeless” and one in five having contemplated suicide.
So, really. How are you doing?
I spoke last spring about mental health issues as the “hidden pandemic” that was just as lethal to our communities as COVID-19 but was not yet talked about loudly enough for there to be real change. Now, one year later I am encouraged by leaders in sports—like tennis pro Naomi Osaka and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles who spoke out and used their platforms to show their own vulnerability and so others might find the strength to speak up and get help. For generations, athletes, in particular, have been unwilling to, or told not to, share their inner feelings. But these athletes and countless others have helped forge a path to correct this. I admire their leadership and honesty.
At Monumental Sports & Entertainment, we believe our people are our greatest assets. We have made deep investments to develop the whole person, no matter if they build the court or play on it, produce gameday hype videos or score the winning goal in the Stanley Cup Championship. For all employees, a robust medical benefits package and mental health services like MindTools and Ginger are available to help individuals identify if they are having a tough time and take steps to get help through live chats, video therapy sessions, articles, and self-guided activities. Ginger also extends to employees’ loved ones as they are also a part of our MSE family.
Monumental is a workplace where we strive to cultivate an environment that supports conversations that may help someone open up about their struggles before it is too late. I hope we all can become more authentic to ourselves and empathetic to others and keep these crucial conversations going.
Please continue to take care of each other— and know when to ask for help. By mid-July everyone with a phone will have easier access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 from anywhere in the country. For now, here are several mental health resources lines:
Essential Community Services
Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741
DC Department of Behavioral Health 24 Hour Access Helpline
DC Emergency Psychiatric Services
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline