Are (a few) Businesses Exploiting Mental Health?

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Over recent years society has become more aware of mental health issues and it is now receiving better acknowledgement than ever before

As a society this is a good thing and that organizations are actively engaged in the subject however it is also becoming a topic that is clearly becoming exploited. Mental Health is being used at times as the selling point for products and services. This is very evident on social media platforms where some businesses promoting their products are claiming that they can limit or avoid the impact of mental health altogether with the use of their mystical and magical product and with very little evidence to support this.

This approach to selling preys on the issue of mental health. The danger is that some businesses have highly addictive brands and influential marketing which can seduce consumers to believe this to be true. We are at risk of making healthy people believe they are sick and by doing so creating a bigger problem in society. There are vulnerable people in our society who have genuine mental health problems and need help!

A good discussion around how some businesses exploit society is in Joseph McClendon’s book ‘Change your Breakfast, Change your Life‘, Chapter 9 ‘Your Well Being is Bad for Business

During COVID-19 I have received communications from some companies who are very quick to highlight their services, values and how it all relates to mental health. After reviewing these websites, there is no mention of the values they claim to be so passionate about and they certainly weren’t promoting this before COVID-19! This is just a false, disingenuous attempt to make you part with your money for no benefit but unfortunately at a time where people have been living in isolated conditions there will be some victims that fall foul of this behaviour.

However it still appears that many businesses that place a huge emphasis to promote mental health awareness also fail in equal measure to practically address the problem. It’s no surprise that either the increased or sustained hours and pressure in many jobs is a significant part of the problem and can impact a person’s mental health. Some businesses fail to acknowledge they are either creating or contributing to the problem or simply pay lip service to it entirely.

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