In the last few years, there has been an increased interest in understanding and addressing mental health. A large part of this effort to understand mental health is picking apart misconceptions, eliminating stigma, and providing tools and resources for everyday people to handle stress and promote mental well-being.
Dr. Jada Jackson Hill, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Vice President of Well-Being at Listeners on Call, returns to the FBS podcast to discuss this focus on mental health and provide additional insight on these topics in relation to education.
Here are some highlights from the podcast:
What is the current state of mental health in education? (2:48) “Educators are struggling, and it’s unfortunate, simply because these are the people that we’ve entrusted with our children. They’re the people we’ve entrusted with the legacy of our communities and our nation, and I think that there should be just a little more attention focused in that area.”
What are the misconceptions regarding mental health? (6:05) “First of all, there’s just that stigma surrounding mental wellbeing, so we have to get past that first; but then we have the ‘well you can’t have a dual diagnosis, you can’t have two things happening at once.’ That’s a misconception because you can have depression, and you can have anxiety at the same time.” Dr. Jackson Hill goes on to say that another misconception is that “many people feel that hormones do not impact mental wellbeing, and they do.”
How can employers successfully manage mental wellbeing? (8:05) “Ultimately, it’s about the culture. It’s about what kind of culture [we are] providing for our staff to be able to thrive, and one of the things that I love promoting is that healthy human connection is key.”
What functions of the brain impact our mental health? (18:32) “When we engage in a healthy environment, when we engage in healthy conversation, when we’re able to vent and talk about our emotion and what’s going on with [us] right now, all of a sudden, things start to shift.” Dr. Jackson Hill explains how several chemicals (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins) are released in the brain during specific interactions and describes those chemicals (D.O.S.E) as “a very simple framework to remember what’s happening when we connect.”
When discussing tools people can use to improve their mental wellbeing, Dr. Jackson Hill stresses the importance of being heard. (23:53) “I’m big on venting” and “When you say it out loud, whatever the thing is, then it kind of disseminates, and you’re able to get back to business; and so, it is very necessary to just let someone listen.”
Check out the rest of the podcast for more of Dr. Jackson Hill’s tools and insights for tackling mental health. Check out all our podcasts in one convenient playlist here!