Yesterday’s Thriving at Work reports are a fantastic insight into the challenge of supporting positive mental wellbeing in the workplace but it appears to me that we are still skimming the surface.
The report has identified that poor mental health is costing employers £42bn annually and the reason is a “combination of a lack of support, lack of understanding in some workplaces and a lack of speedy access to mental health services”. This is all true but it is not only the responsibility of the HR teams and senior management to offer this “support” and “understanding”, it is their role to establish an environment in which all employees can offer each other that support and understanding.
We ALL need to take responsibility for ourselves and for each other.
From our research, and my personal experience, the stigma around mental health is starting to shift but it is still there and the challenge is that it is as much in the hearts of those suffering as those around them.
In my darkest hours the last thing I was ready to do was admit that I was struggling because I thought that was a sign of weakness. Like so many I, like Andrew Omerod, buried myself deeper in my work to hide from my pain. Those around me didn’t notice the subtle changes and had no concept of what it might be like for me. If anyone did notice then they did not know how to approach me and so this isolation enabled my downward spiral.
While most of my work now focuses on the prevention of mental UN-health in the workplace, empowering people to discover Optimal mental wellbeing, I am still passionately committed to one project which is actively challenging the stigma which is still so prevalent.
Change of Mind is a project that is doing more than ‘raising awareness’ of mental health, it is ACTIVELY changing the perspective of mental health.
If you are ready to start doing something more than raising awareness then please read this article from the Journal of Public Mental Health.
Is it time to have a Change of Mind?