With Mental Health Awareness Month now coming to an end, most brands, media outlets, and politicians are getting ready to shift their focus to other topics they see as trending. However, with 1 in every 3 adults showing symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders, mental health advocates like Seth Taube are calling for a change in the narrative.
“With over 1 billion people suffering from mental disorders at any given time, mental health can no longer be relegated to a designated month,” says Taube, a well-known entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. “We are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis that we were not only unprepared for but that many people seem to actively underestimate.”
Starting with the global COVID-19 pandemic and continuing with the economic uncertainty caused by events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the generative AI craze, the past 4 years have been especially difficult for people all over the world. The cumulative impact of these crises has exacerbated mental health issues, leaving individuals grappling with heightened anxiety, depression, and a sense of uncertainty.
“All of these factors have exacerbated what was already a significant global mental health crisis,” explains Taube. “Unfortunately, young adults and teenagers had to deal with all of these circumstances at a crucial phase of their lives. The disruption of education, limited social interactions, and the overwhelming information overload have all taken a toll on their mental well-being.”
Taube has talked openly in the past about what he sees as “existential threats” and the need for society to find new ways to “down-regulate their nervous systems”, a belief that has been shared by experts when talking about technologies like AI. This, combined with the higher expectations that young people have to deal with, has created a perfect storm for mental health challenges that younger generations now have to deal with.
“There has been a significant shift in attitudes towards mental health among young people, with a greater willingness to discuss their struggles and seek help,” Taube adds. “Unfortunately, as the system failed to adapt and serve the needs of our complex world, this awareness and openness has come without effective means to address the overwhelming need for mental health support.”
A Harvard graduate, Taube has been passionate about neuroscience and mental health since he completed his Bachelor’s degree. He has pursued this passion through his work with the Seth B. Taube Foundation and Progressive Therapeutics, two organizations he founded to help advance mental health efforts in the non-profit and private sectors.
“I believe that investing in mental health is a moral imperative, no matter if you are supporting it through volunteering, research, financial contributions, the arts, activism, or simply being there for someone who is struggling,” concludes Taube. “It’s crucial that we come together to prioritize and destigmatize it, as our collective well-being is at stake.”
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