It’s no secret that COVID wreaked havoc on the state of mental health in 2021, with two in five adults reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety to the CDC.
This has led to an overwhelming number of Americans who believe mental health is as important as physical health. Other indicators also suggest that the spotlight on mental health will continue to be a worldwide priority in the years to come.
Take The Great Resignation: a global movement that inspired millions of workers to quit their jobs.
This past September, the World Economic Forum reported the highest number of departures from the workplace in U.S. history: 4.4 million Americans said “toodle-oo” to their employers, favoring their mental health over job security and burnout.
And while TikTok was abuzz with viral dance challenges in 2021, therapists flooded the social media platform to help Gen Z-ers make sense of their mental health struggles. Since then, TikTok has gone on to become a mainstream platform for suicide prevention, with many users opening up about their suicidal thoughts and feelings of depression.
Other powerful voices emerged from obscurity, too, namely Naomi Osaka’s and Simone Biles’, both of whom withdrew from their respective sports to shine a light on the stigma of mental health.
Along these lines, royal lovebirds Harry and Meghan also chose to prioritize their mental health, revealing in a bombshell interview with Oprah that their obligations as Duke and Duchess of Sussex placed too much strain on their well-being. Prince Harry, for one, used his celebrity to advocate for mental health, resulting in an Apple docu-series in which Harry and Oprah guided “honest discussions about mental health,” to quote the series’ tagline.
Despite these positive milestones, Mental Health America (MHA) forecasted a grim outlook on the state of mental health in 2022. According to MHA, suicide ideation among Americans continued to rise each year since 2011; 27 million adults in the U.S. who suffered from mental illnesses were left untreated; and “both adults and youth in the U.S. continued to lack adequate insurance coverage,” to quote the study.
While it can be difficult to draw specific mental health conclusions from such a broad overview, one thing’s for certain: 2021’s America was determined to create a better world for people struggling with mental health.
How to Improve Your Mental Health in 2022
Although the idea of mental health was once scoffed at in America, there’s no denying that its importance will only grow further in 2022, especially as the global pandemic shows no signs of stopping.
Fortunately, there are services and resources available to help you make the most out of your mental health journey in 2022. Check them out here.
And if all else fails, remember: you are not alone, though you might think otherwise. So reach out to your mental health support system — whether it’s a friend or a family member — and let them have it.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2022. 😀