Over the past two weeks in #PublicSectorNow, we’ve been amplifying and driving new conversations to bring even more awareness to Mental Health Awareness month. Join us to learn about how colleges, universities, communities, and healthcare organizations are tapping into the power of technology to emphasize mental health services as a critical part of our overall well-being.

264 million people in the world are affected by depression. Depression and anxiety cost the global economy more than $1 trillion per year during the time before the pandemic according to UN guidelines.

These are staggering numbers by any account, but with all the change and uncertainty facing the world today, they truly highlight the importance of focusing on mental health across the public sector in education, government, and healthcare.

Physical and mental health go hand-in-hand when it comes to our overall well-being. It’s imperative for students, nurses, city workers, and for all of us for that matter, to receive and have access to mental health tools and resources, especially when the facilities we have previously relied on may be closed.

Tech and telehealth in higher education

1 in 5 college students has a mental health condition, and in 2019, 21.6% said depression alone impacted their studies. How is higher education responding to mental health issues that are impacting students, and how does technology play a role?

Today, student health centers are relying on technology to provide continuity of care, with telehealth escalating to the forefront in counseling. Some schools are also hosting virtual meditations or yoga classes, while others are creating websites with resources.

For more information on how technology is transforming higher education mental health services, check out Mary Schlegelmilch’s latest blog.

Caring for ourselves and our communities: Technology and innovation in government reform

Mental health impacts us personally, along with our communities and society as a whole. As such, it’s incredibly important that care providers embrace innovative treatments combined with technology to improve outcomes for people with mental illness.

The future of health is changing. Where care cannot be delivered virtually, it will be imperative to modernize holistic healthcare and expand access to better serve the most vulnerable populations. This presents a huge opportunity for our governments to step forward when it comes to serving as stewards of public health and well-being – especially in times of change.

To read the full blog on technology, innovation, and government when it comes to mental health, visit TJ Costello’s blog.

Transforming public mental health with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

When it comes to the growing public mental health challenges that communities around the world are facing, we see some amazing stories. One is a recent breakthrough thanks to our partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

CAMH, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, delivers crucial support to local patients. Since September 2018, a group from Cisco Canada has worked with CAMH to deliver virtual care to patients securely over Webex. The goal was simple: enhance virtual care so that more patients – regardless of location – could access critical mental health services. When the pandemic hit, the foundation was laid, enabling them to quickly maneuver.


Learn more about the incredible outcomes in Rola Dagher’s blog.

Addressing the stigma and providing tools to thrive

One challenge when it comes to mental health is the stigma attached to it, but we can all play a role in breaking down barriers and opening the doors to conversations.

Cisco and our leaders in public sector are changing the conversation about mental health within our company. It’s okay to not be okay. Let’s stop the stigma today.

Finally, there are a variety of tools and resources available. For example, Mental Health America offers free online testing to help you determine if you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. And from a technology perspective, there are solutions available to keep the doors of mental health open, even when the physical locations have to close.

Mental Health Matters

Let’s stop the stigma, continue to keep the conversation going and work together to build a better tomorrow no matter what is happening in the world. Mental health matters.

Did you help to drive awareness during Mental Health Month? Join the conversation below and stay tuned for our next edition of our #PublicSectorNow blog series.


Cassie Roach

Vice President Sales and Sustainability

Acceleration and Action Office