Mental health. A big subject at the moment and it's mental health awareness week. With an increase in those affected as well as an increase in those feeling more able to discuss it, it’s a subject that many still find a taboo - but are we finally getting to a point where it's more acceptable to discuss?
With Avicii hitting the headlines and more celebrities speaking out about their own battles with mental health, it's an area which needs to become a real focus for employers, as at least half of us will be affected at some point in our lives.
Stress at work is cited as a big contributory cause of mental health issues, with shocking statistics about individuals becoming so stressed at work, they feel they cannot cope and this consequently pervades all other areas of their lives.
So what can be done? What can we do?
- Taboo! With more people becoming more aware, people are finally finding it easier to talk about how they feel which is great. So let's keep the conversation going.
- Employee Wellbeing courses. Looking to improve the working environment? There are training days you can attend to look at employee wellness and health to help promote healthy mind and lifestyle in the workplace, with some companies employing welfare officers in the form of a dog.
- Other. A beer fridge in the office, being paid to read and learn, team lunches on a Friday, bring your pet to work, extra holiday and music in the office are all things that can make for a happier, more productive and less stressful working environment and are easy initiatives to implement.
Please have a read of the below article to understand why we have mental health awareness week and - more importantly - let's continue to raise awareness.
Nearly half of us have been, or will be, affected by mental health conditions at some point in our lives, yet for the most part, there is still a distinct taboo in many circles. ‘A persistent pattern of not directly acknowledging and addressing our own - and the UK’s - mental health issues only further reinforces stereotypes and taboos. ‘Currently, half of adults in the UK state say they would feel comfortable discussing mental health - a mindset that in many cases can actually lead to greater suffering and isolation for those in need who become even more reluctant to speak to anyone.’