World Mental Health Day looks a little different this year: While the looming pandemic certainly affects those with preexisting mental health conditions, a growing number of people may be experiencing mental health issues for the very first time: As clinical neuroscientist psychiatrist Daniel Amen, M.D., writes, “Even if you’ve been mentally healthy your whole life, the stacked stresses of the pandemic, financial strain, and isolation may have pushed you into unknown territory.”
Specifically, more young individuals are struggling. We can’t ignore how 1 in 4 young adults (ages 18 to 24) seriously contemplated suicide during the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And according to a survey from NRC Health, millennials (those born from 1981 to 1996) and Gen Z (born in 1997 and onward) were among the most likely to say their mental health has significantly declined. The data is clear: We need to prioritize mental health—and we need to do it together.
That’s why on this World Mental Health Day, we’re highlighting emerging leaders in the field and bringing them to the forefront of the conversation. Perhaps you’re grappling with your emotional well-being for the first time, or maybe you’re just looking for some add-ons to your mental health tool kit—whatever your motivations may be, consider this your bank of resources to dip into whenever you’re not entirely sure where to turn.
From cutting-edge psychiatrists to meditation icons to authors, nonprofit founders, and everything in between, these are the movers and shakers of the mental health space. Take advantage of their guidance whenever you please, and—most importantly—know that you’re never alone.