Addressing the need
The COVID-19 pandemic brought many mental and emotional issues to the forefront, caused by anxiety, depression, uncertainty, or life circumstances, including caring for children, parents, other family members or friends, or even the unfortunate loss of a loved one.
“What the pandemic did was further enable people to admit that ‘it’s okay to not be okay,’” said Jamie C., senior manager. “However, mental health issues existed before, and we wanted to talk about them and break down the stigma.”
And this is exactly what Jamie aimed to do when she began the Breaking Down the Stigma mental health and wellness group in the U.S. in February 2021. With the encouragement from Vanguard’s Human Resources division, a support group formed that continues to grow and help those in need of a safe haven to discuss mental, emotional, and behavioral health concerns affecting them and their loved ones.
For Jamie, the initiative was born out of personal experience. “Having a very close relative with mental health problems, I dealt with these issues my entire life,” said Jamie. “I knew others could benefit from mutual support, as I did.”