By Phil Klutts
March 14, 2023

Dissolving mental health stigma

The path to improved mental health is not always easy or clear, but we can all walk together.

Stigma: a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

Some stigma originates from society, culture, or other people. Stigma can also originate from inside ourselves. Feelings of being ostracized or disgraced can occur when you think you are different than those around you. 

Millions of people suffer from the side effects of mental illness each year. Research from 2020 says that one in five adults in the U.S. fall into this category. More recent studies move that ratio to one in four or 26% of adults. 

A decline in mental health or the presence of a mental or behavioral disorder should no longer carry a stigma—from ourselves or society. 

Here at Edmond Business, we want to help our community overcome the stigma and negative effects of poor mental health. 

The mission of Edmond Business is to inform, educate, and uplift Edmond area businesses and business people that live in the Edmond area. Improving and discussing mental health contributes to this mission. Mental and behavioral health disorders drain resources, energy, and productivity from businesses.

Poor mental health has a direct link to business outcomes. Lost productivity, absenteeism, high turnover, and increased insurance costs have all been linked to depression, addiction, and other behavioral health conditions. Beyond the bottom dollar, we all want our coworkers, neighbors, and friends to be healthy and enjoy life at work and at home. 

Last year, the City of Edmond and several partners worked with the Healthy Minds Policy Initiative to complete a behavioral health assessment and action plan to address the findings. The full report can be found here.

There were several positive findings, including the high quality of life in Edmond and the engagement of citizens. The report outlined three key findings: 

  1. Access to behavioral health services in Edmond has multiple barriers, including lack of availability of local service providers, cost of receiving services, and transportation to Oklahoma City for more intensive services.
  2. Children and youth with behavioral health conditions are especially vulnerable to these barriers to access. 
  3. Stigma impedes recognizing and seeking care for behavioral health conditions.

Our goal for this column is to help improve the quality of business and life in Edmond. The path to improved mental health is not always easy or clear, but we can all walk together. We’ll cover topics in this column to do this. The focus will be on sharing resources and tips and creating conversations. The only way we will reduce the stigma around mental health is to bring mental health topics into our regular conversations and progress our community toward healthy ways of dealing with issues. 

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.