Solidarity and Suicide Prevention
Today is Labor Day, and we at The Hope For Us Network have always recognized the importance of honoring the achievements secured through the immense sacrifices of generations of labor justice pioneers. We raise our voice in solidarity with the movement for worker’s rights. Its rich history is filled with individuals and organizations that have tirelessly fought for basic labor protections, like the abolition of child labor, the establishment of OSHA, and the 8-hour workday. As we enter Suicide Prevention month this September, we call attention to the integral, yet often stigmatized topic in the modern labor justice movement: equitable access to mental healthcare for all workers.
We want to acknowledge the modern concerns of labor justice to keep up the fight to achieve workplaces that are humane, equitable, and built on the foundation of worker health. Our mental health and material conditions are intrinsically linked.
Housing costs are at historic peaks and full-time employment in America on the current minimum wage in ANY state will not cover the cost of living in ANY state. Additionally, housing insecurity impacts an estimated 11 million people across the U.S., with food insecurity impacting upwards of 38 million Americans each year.
The individuals that cannot afford their basic necessities stand a much higher risk for developing mental health challenges. This inextricable connection between one’s physical and mental health must be addressed. That’s why housing and food security are a part of The Network’s central tenants for proactive prevention.
September is Suicide Prevention Month and the conversation on mental health and labor justice is especially pertinent. Proactive Prevention directly combats stigma and its harmful impact on our mental health.
In recent studies the National Institute of Mental health, found that one in five, or about 52.9 million U.S. adults live with mental health challenges. Over half of those individuals are not receiving any treatment for their mental health. With 31% of U.S. workers defining themselves as working-class, there is an immense overlap between individuals being untreated for mental illness and those who most directly feel the impact of the labor fight. While these individuals do not receive treatment for a plethora of reasons, more often than not this is due to the financial cost. This is why The Network seeks to create spaces and uplift resources to fill in this gap in treatment, while also advocating for long-term solutions like comprehensive universal healthcare that includes mental healthcare.
The Network will continue the conversation on mental health in the workplace. Through our educational programming and community-building, we will change the way our institutions, communities, and even the individual approach mental health. You can join us and support of our mission of proactive suicide prevention at hopeforusnetwork.org.
The Hope For Us Network