NEWS | May 13, 2021

Mental Health Awareness Month Statement

By CNO Adm. Mike Gilday and Mrs. Linda Gilday

CNO: Shipmates, CNO Gilday here with my wife Linda to talk about something that is often difficult for us to discuss - Mental Health.

Linda: This past year has brought challenges that none of us expected, including for Mike and I. And during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to shine a light on this important topic.

CNO: I know this past year has been hard. Many of you have endured extended deployments, had increased stress levels, or felt isolated and overwhelmed. But let me be clear. Mental health is absolutely critical to wellness, and shouldn’t be ignored and it shouldn’t be hidden.

Linda: On average, one in five American adults experience a diagnosable mental health issue each year. Many of these conditions are common and treatable; yet many people suffer in silence because of shame, stigma, or fear that it will impact your professional growth.

CNO: No matter your situation, there are shipmates ready to do whatever they can to help you find hope. Reach out, ask someone for help. Don’t let stigma stand in your way.

Linda: You wouldn’t hesitate to seek help for a physical issue or take care of yourself in some other way. So reach out for assistance with depression or anxiety or other mental health concerns, and encourage others to do the same. There are treatment options you can consider from just talking to someone - or medication when needed.

CNO: To all of our leaders out there, no matter your rank, let me be clear. Talk to your people, listen to them, be available, and encourage them to seek help if they need it.

Linda: Now is the time to lean on each other and figure out ways to stay strong, be resilient and even grow during this challenging time.

CNO: There’s no doubt, Sailors and their families are what make our Navy great. We need you in our Navy and we promise to be there when you need us.