Mental Health Awareness Week

Statistically, one in four of us either have experienced or will experience mental health difficulties.

We are thankfully coming into a time where mental health is much less stigmatised, and people are finally starting to feel able to seek out the help they need without fear of judgement.

One of the key factors which influence a person’s mental health is their job. It makes sense -the average Briton spends 1,791 hours a year at work. With so much of your time dedicated to your career, it’s no wonder that this can have an effect on your mental state.

It is for this reason that having a support system in place in your workplace is essential to ensuring the wellbeing of your employees.

Supporting mental health in the workplace

The first thing you can do whether you’re an employer or an employee is to make it clear that…

  • Mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of
  • There is always support available for anyone who is struggling

It is great to use Mental Health Awareness Week to broach the topic with your employees, and it is a good idea to do this in a public setting so as not to single anyone out. It should be made clear that if anyone wishes to continue the discussion in private your door is open.

One key thing which may stop people from opening up about their issues is feeling like they may face some kind of negative reaction, and this is why it needs to be completely clear that having the guts to ask for help will in no way negatively affect them or their career.

Here is an insightful document by Mind on supporting staff who are experiencing a mental health problem.

Looking after your mental health as an employee

Most people will probably have a good idea as to their own mental wellbeing, however, you can never be sure, which is why the best way to diagnose mental health issues is to talk to your GP.

Here is a great document on how to recognise if you are experiencing mental health difficulties.

If you have been diagnosed with a mental health problem, or suspect you may be dealing with one, it also is a good idea to talk to your boss or line manager about re-evaluating your role and workload.

Something I mentioned earlier was having healthy coping mechanisms. There is no “one size fits all” for this, and it is best to seek professional advice on how best to cope with the unique challenges that you deal with.

Dealing with these issues is incredibly exhausting, so it is imperative that you allow yourself the time to get better.

Key takeaways

  • Provide open channels of communication with your employees
  • Have a support system in place
  • Keep an eye out for your co-workers and employees
  • Have a discussion about it!
  • Lastly, and most importantly, talk to your GP

If you suspect you or someone you work with is experiencing mental health difficulties here is a link to the Samaritans website.

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