#ConsumerChoice: Mental Health

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#ConsumerChoice: Mental Health Support

At a time when NHS dental services are in crisis – and A&E, ambulance and nursing services are the focus of industrial action due to pay and conditions adding extra strain on the workload – protecting and supporting the mental health of staff in the workplace must become a priority.

A spokesperson from the Consumer Choice Center reports from an event in Switzerland that aims to address the situation.

As world leaders gather in Davos, Switzerland, the Consumer Choice Center hosted a panel on the importance of mental health support. Speakers discussed how challenges to mental health are increasing after the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and economic uncertainty, and focused on effective coping techniques.

The "Prioritising Mental Health in Times of Global Crisis” panel was moderated by Jillian Melchior, editorial board member at The Wall Street Journal, with opening remarks by Kathleen Kingsbury, Opinion Editor at The New York Times.

Kingsbury told her audience: "Journalists are no strangers to stress, anxiety and trauma. Just last week we lost a reporter in the newsroom, Blake Hounshell, after a long battle with depression.

“As an editor, I am responsible for my people, which is why I am grateful to work at a news organisation that takes the health and safety of our journalists seriously.”

Pa Sinyan, Managing Partner at Gallup, cited alarming statistics showing the professional world is still not doing enough to address the stress that many are exposed to.

“COVID has added a ‘burnout gap’ to the list of challenges that women in particular must overcome. Good leadership will prioritise tackling this imbalance."

Alysha Tagert, a mental health expert and trauma therapist who served as Executive Director of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International, highlighted the need for addressing mental health to be accepted as routine and necessary.

She observed: "Seeking mental health support still carries too much stigma, not just in the professional world."

Tagert recommended coping tool boxes that include everyday items, such as fidget spinners, sugar free chewing gum, essential oil spray, to engage the senses and have a calming effect. She currently works with UNICEF and USAID on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.

The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) is a European think tank that represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. It closely monitors regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation to inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice.

For more information, visit https://consumerchoicecenter.org/

The event, entitled 'Prioritizing Mental Health in Times of Global Crisis', took place on 19th January, 2023 at the Bergrestaurant Höhenweg restaurant, in Davos.