Celebrating Pride and Mental Well-Being: What’s the Connection?

29 Jun ‘23
6 min
Lifestyle
Niamh Pardi
Gecontroleerd door dietician Judith Klenter
pride-mental-wellbeing

Pride Month takes place every June in a number of major cities worldwide; such as New York, London, Barcelona, and Rome. Some other cities choose to celebrate Pride in later months, for example, in Amsterdam, Pride will take place in August.

 

Beyond colourful parades and vibrant celebrations, Pride is a time to honour the accomplishments and recognise the challenges faced by individuals within a diverse community. In this article, we’ll explore the essence of Pride, and how to enhance mental well-being by embracing acceptance and inclusivity.

 

What is Pride? 

 

Pride is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and more (LGBTQ+) identity. Although Pride is now celebrated in numerous countries worldwide, it started out as a protest, with June 28, 1969 marking the start of the Stonewall riots. On this day, members of the LGBTQ+ community fought back against a police raid at a queer bar in Manhattan, New York. Media coverage allowed society to see the LGBTQ+ struggle and created more awareness about the need to stand up for equal rights. 

 

In essence, Pride is about making others feel valued and accepted, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. When we celebrate and embrace diversity, we are taking positive steps towards improved mental well-being. 

 

“Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.”Barbara Gittings

 

 

What can we learn from Pride? 

 

Pride provides us with an excellent opportunity to celebrate the many dynamic LGBTQ+ communities and our wonderfully diverse workforce. It can teach us to be more open-minded and accept others as they are. 

 

Pride can also teach us how to show solidarity for people who may not feel comfortable enough to be their authentic selves. Of course, making each individual feel psychologically safe is a cornerstone of mental well-being. 

 

💡 Curious to learn more about psychological safety? Read our blog: How to Identify Psychological Safety in the Workplace (or a Lack of It)

 

Pride also helps us to feel valued and accepted by society, which is integral to maintaining mental well-being. Let’s take a look at how celebrating Pride can enhance mental well-being for all: 

 

1. Connection

Everyone can feel disconnected from time to time, and we know that connection is important for everyone and a cornerstone of positive mental well-being. Pride can enhance a sense of inclusion, connection, and community through events, marches, resources, and positive media focus. 

 

2. Identity

When people are affirmed and their identity is respected, mental well-being can flourish. Being alongside others and celebrating together can help people reach a point where they feel more positive and accepting about themselves.

 

3. Allyship

Pride often inspires members of society to show their support and advocate for the community in the form of allyship, which Harvard Business Review defines as: ‘’a lifelong process of building and nurturing supportive relationships with underrepresented, marginalised, or discriminated individuals or groups with the aim of advancing inclusion.’’

 

Allies can offer a safe space and a source of encouragement when things are tough.

 

4. Representation

Such a global event can enhance mental well-being by providing individuals with the representation they need. It’s also a way of openly embracing the vast diversity of our society across several generations.

 

5. Giving back

Research shows that giving back is good for our mental well-being. It provides us with a sense of purpose, belonging, and gratitude. Getting involved in group activities such as Pride can leave you feeling more positive, as you contribute to the greater good. Whether you are participating in a march, organising a meet-up or contributing to a cause, the chances are that you will feel great doing so!

 

 

Feeling valued, accepted, and recognised for our identities is essential for our mental well-being. Displaying genuine care, curiosity, and a willingness to learn goes a long way in supporting diverse communities, not just for Pride Month, but year-round.

 

Do you want to improve your mental well-being? Whether you are looking to foster a psychologically safe workplace, or want to learn more on an individual basis, we have you covered. 

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