Celebrating World Mental Health Day on October 10

Rose Grech
Rose Grech Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 5 Expensify Team
edited October 2020 in Celebrating Awareness

To celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10, we spoke to two Expensify customers, Run4Rene and Brooklyn Minds, who do amazing work to build positive communities for people struggling with mental health.


(Photo by Gigi Giannella)

Why is Run4Rene so passionate about mental health?

Everyone has mental health and it’s now more important than ever to take care of it! We believe that communities can come together to support one another through talking, physical exercise and sharing experiences. Stigma leads to isolation and prevents people seeking help. We want to break this down and let people know that it’s ok to not be ok!

What do you do to improve community mental health?

Run4Rene empowers communities to build free, inclusive spaces where people of any age, race, background, or fitness level can come along for support with their physical and mental health. We believe that running promotes positive wellbeing and that talking openly about how you feel can make all the difference. You can either join an existing group or start your own community and we’ll support you! Head over to @run4rene on Social media and join us.  

What can others do on World Mental Health Day to make a difference?

Talk about mental health openly! If you’re worried about someone, reach out and ask them how they feel and listen to what they say. A problem shared can be a problem halved and there’s no better day to start the conversation. If you’re struggling, please please speak to someone! It could be a R4R leader, a doctor, a friend, or a colleague...anyone. Just don’t bottle your feelings inside. You don’t have to go through this alone.

How have the events of this year affected community mental health in your experience?

The effects of COVID-19 and isolation have had a profoundly negative effect on people’s wellbeing. People are more anxious and depressed about the future and lockdowns and/or remote working have stopped people getting the help and support they need, or heightened feelings of loneliness which we know can exacerbate poor mental health. World suicide rates have been going up and we need to take action now. We need to support one another as much as we can, and keep reaching out, even if it's online or over the phone to check in with our colleagues, friends, and those we care about. 

Brooklyn Minds

(Photo Courtesy of Brooklyn Minds)

Why is Brooklyn Minds so passionate about mental health?

Mental health is extremely important but, until recently, was a topic people were hesitant to speak publicly about. For example, depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Because of the stigma attached to seeking treatment and disparities in the outcomes, we see a void between the help that exists and the help that is still needed. We bridge this space one person at a time by offering innovative mental health services.

What does Brooklyn Minds do to improve mental health issues?

Brooklyn Minds makes mental health care more accessible. We are currently working with several insurance companies to increase access to mental health care using more innovative payment models such as Value Based Care. 

We advocate for our patients ranging from fighting for authorizations to cutting through bureaucratic red tape. Brooklyn Minds treats all people with the respect they deserve. Fostering an inclusive, safe space for people who are often discriminated against is a core value. We have clinicians and support staff who are members and allies for LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, sex workers, and other communities that are historically misunderstood by healthcare providers. 

What can others do on World Mental Health Day to make a difference?

Making a difference with mental health is about connecting with people on a personal level and not feeling the need to handle it on your own. It’s really important to take your own mental health seriously, seek help if you need it, and discuss it in a non-judgmental way. Also, if you sense someone you know is struggling, reach out to them. When you help one person, the effect spreads exponentially.

How have the events of this year affected community mental health in your experience?

With the downtime of quarantine, many people have been re-assessing the way they live their lives. People are grieving for how things were before COVID, the many changes they’ve faced since, and are seeking help navigating forward. More people are seeking mental health services and support than ever before.

There’s also more public discussion surrounding mutual aid, processing collective trauma, and the ways that systemic oppression affects people. Light is being shined on huge unmet needs and many in the mental health community are rising to the occasion.

At Brooklyn Minds, we are constantly reviewing and modifying our approach in order to do the most good in terms of anti-racism, anti-oppression, intersectional feminism and, ultimately, in terms of being a group of people who really want to help other people.

Talkspace offer

In further support of World Mental Health Day, we also partnered with TalkSpace to offer $125 off of TalkSpace for all Expensify customers, to support World Mental Health Day on October 10. This perk is usually for Expensify cardholders, but it'll be temporarily available to all Expensify users until October 23.