OPI Celebrates World Mental Health Day
It's World Mental Health day and this year we're partnering with Faith Broussard Cade of @fleurdelisspeaks, a mental health advocate who creates daily affirmations to encourage everyone to take care of themselves and live a more positive life. We got the chance to ask Faith some questions about the mental health field, the ways in which professional workplaces can support employees with their mental health journey, and easy ways anyone can practice self-care. Read the full interview below.
OPI: How did you get started in this line of work?
Faith: I began my career as a professional school counselor in 2009. Addressing mental health concerns at a young age has always been a priority. I believe it should be available and accessible to everyone. In January of 2018, I was in a car accident in which I sustained a concussion and frantic brain injury. This required me to resign from my job in order for me to recover. During my time of recovery, I found myself in a place of needing to prioritize my own mental health and wellness. I was forced to implement personal self-care practices that were consistent and sustainable for me with a very limited income. That is when I began writing short, positive affirmations to myself every day — and that’s how Fleur de Lis Speaks was born.
OPI: Have you seen the landscape shift since you started working in this field – do you feel our society is more receptive and cognizant of the importance of mental health?
Faith: Absolutely. Although there still is a significant stigma surrounding seeking out mental healthcare, there has been and continues to be a progression towards open-mindedness as it pertains to health and wellness. As more people such as celebrities and well-known public figures open up about their mental health struggles, it provides a safe space for everyone to be transparent about their own mental health challenges as well.
OPI: What are simple things anyone can do on a daily basis to improve mental health?
Faith: The most important thing to do when deciding on a self-care practice is to make sure it truly relaxes you, relieves stress, brings you joy, and pours into you. Some examples include but are not limited to: spending time in nature, yoga and stretching, meditation and breathwork, journaling, crafting, pursuing a hobby, reading, exercise, something you enjoy, talking to a therapist/professional, or even a good friend. Giving yourself grace and permission to do your best and surrender the rest.
OPI: How can companies help prioritize the mental health of their employees?
Faith: Prioritizing mental health in the workspace all starts with infrastructure and best practices. Companies can add mental health care to their benefit plans, add wellness days for PTO so people don’t have to choose finances over mental health, create professional development days around mental health by bringing in experts, and provide a safe space for employees to address concerns regarding mental health issues.
OPI: How can you best support someone who may be struggling with their mental health?
Faith: First and foremost, listen to understand rather than to respond. Most times people struggling with mental health challenges aren’t looking for advice or solutions. They want to feel seen, understood, and heard. So allow them to fully express themselves without fear or judgment. Let them know that you will hold a safe space for them. Let them know that what they say to you will be kept in confidence. Let them know you support them, love them, and are willing to find the proper resources that they need.
OPI: What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
Faith: My favorite ways to practice self-care are watching documentaries and listening to podcasts. I love to read and journal, listen to classical music, bake and cook, and also spend time with my family.