Wellness countdown to 2022 — 9. It’s OK not to be OK

Editor’s note: Here’s to a healthier 2022!

Let’s face it…it hasn’t been an easy year, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact day-to-day lives.

In August 2020, an ADA Health Policy Institute survey on the impact of COVID-19 on dentists under the age of 35 found that 87% reported experiencing anxiety and 55% reported experiencing depression. In the same survey, 55% were not familiar with mental health and other supportive services; and over 30% were not comfortable seeking out mental health services for themselves or team members. Early indications from the 2021 health survey show continued mental health concerns for dentists, including anxiety and depression.

Let’s count down the last busy days of 2021 by highlighting wellness resources and tips the ADA has to offer— from toolkits on workplace wellness and videos on ergonomics to webinars and fact sheets on mental health.

9. Hope for the Day: It’s OK not to be OK


Talking about mental health may seem daunting, but there are small steps new dentists can take to start the conversation. You don’t have to be a trained professional mental health expert.
The video, It’s OK Not to be OK, shares ways dental team members, peers and friends can help reduce the stigma associated with talking about mental health. Ways to be supportive include listening and focusing on hearing others, being non-judgmental, giving information, and asking what — instead of why — questions.
“Mental health is complicated, solutions don’t happen overnight. The first step is breaking the silence around stigma,” according to the video, which was created by the ADA and Hope for the Day, a Chicago-based nonprofit focusing on mental health, and funded by a grant from Crest + Oral-B.
For additional information, visit , and be sure to store the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number to your phone. 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

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