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How Comms Pros Can Protect Mental Health in a Complex World

Mental Health Blog Post 2024

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, members of our Zeno Healthy Minds ERG are sharing their diverse experiences and insights on safeguarding mental wellbeing against a backdrop of challenging societal events and conversations that can negatively impact our mental health. 

Limit Exposure: Yasmeen Abed, Account Executive, Corporate Technology 

As communication professionals, we are entrenched in current events and the media landscape on an ongoing basis. This can weigh us down. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 56% of Americans said “following the news causes them stress.” While important for following the news cycles and latest trends, unlimited exposure can lead to information overload and burnout. It’s important to limit your screen time and to be intentional with what you are consuming and when. 

One way to break down the stigmas surrounding mental health and the stresses surrounding our everyday realities with the news is through storytelling. On a personal level, storytelling as a Palestinian-American has remained a source of empowerment and a form of hearing, learning and sharing the struggles of my parents and grandparents. Through this generational exercise of passing on the oral histories of my community, storytelling has proved to be a supportive method of coping with traumas and anxieties, in a way that transgresses any stigma.  

Prioritize Connection: Makayla Martin, Account Executive, Health & Wellness 

Social connection is a fundamental human need, helping us feel a sense of togetherness, loved and understood, yet many of us feel more isolated than ever before, with roughly 1 in 3 adults reporting feeling lonely regularly according to the Mental Health Foundation and CDC. Loneliness, stemming from various factors like life changes or lack of deeper connection, affects not just mood but mental and physical health.  

In my experience, hybrid work has helped me connect with others. I now seek out office interactions, intentionally meeting new people, forming deeper relationships to help reduce my feelings of isolation and improve my sense of belonging. As an extra layer of support, working with therapists and coaches can provide a safe space to cope and work through life changes and feelings of loneliness. 

Set Boundaries: Allison Pierce, Account Supervisor, Corporate Affairs   

We are constantly answering email/Teams chats, taking meetings with clients, calling reporters, etc. during the workday and occasionally after hours. This “go” mentality can quickly lead to burnout.  

I’ve learned that I need to set healthy boundaries at work and outside of work. Our work is important, but it does not define us. Tips and resources like having a separate work phone, blocking time in my workday for therapy, using Viva insights to book “focus time” to get work done between meetings and regularly taking mental health days have all been instrumental for me in preventing burnout.  

Foster a Support Network: Kelli Hayes, DE&I Engagement Manager  

As a Black woman working in the DE&I space, I bring a unique perspective to discussions surrounding mental health and its social drivers. Our job demands can be relentless and expectations high, so learning to maintain a balance is important by cultivating skills like stress management and effective communication. You can ask trusted colleagues, mentors, and mental health professionals for support if that feels right to you. Platforms like also offer resources and networking.  

Recognizing the unique intersections of our identities and experience empowers us to foster a healthier, more inclusive environment. Embracing negative thoughts and feelings while acknowledging that not every battle is ours alone to bear is part of the journey towards resilience in metal health and societal change.