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The 5 Stages to Change Our Belief System on Mental Health

ACHiEVE host Aseem Giri recently interviewed Zachary (“Zak”) Williams for a podcast episode.  Zak was very candid about his prior experiences and struggles with mental health issues.  In crafting a solution, Zak researched various formulations of adaptogens to assist him with his anxiety.  Adaptogens are botanical ingredients that are known to reduce stress, anxiety and assist with other mood disorders, such as sleep and depression.  He launched the company PYM to bring these formulations to the masses.

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue in the United States, affecting 8% of the population 18 and older, or 40 million Americans.  An astounding 73.1% of those identifying as having anxiety disorders are not receiving treatment.  Anxiety also impacts over 275 million people all over the world.

Zak also passionately believes that we need to modify our belief systems around mental health in order to create cultural change that sticks.

Here is his 5-Tier Approach:

Programming – Developing content and/or curricula that engages people through resources and experiences, leveraging all members of the eco-system, from companies to academic institutions.  

Awareness – Stamping out the stigma associated with mental health and the seeking of mental health support.  Once we de-stigmatize, people who need support will seek it.

Research – Evidence-backed learning and programming will be key to develop the understanding needed to create the most efficacious support programs.

Advocacy – Creating coalitions to coordinate the efforts to spur action.  Developing organizations that support groups working in the other tiers.

Policy – Impact at the lawmaker level so that government funding for mental health and mental health support can approach the 10% of medical GDP that it is in other industrialized nations.  The US is currently at 1%.

To hear Zak describe it in his own words, have a look here on YouTube or the original podcast.

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