World Mental Health Day 10th October 2020
This World Mental Health Day, our Mental Health First Aider, Sue Smith, asks you to take a moment to think about your workplace’s mental health:
“Mental health: there is still a stigma attached to anyone who says they are suffering with their mental health. People judging, saying it’s just “attention seeking” or “trying it on” to get time off work or away from a certain situation. But how would you feel if you broke your arm or leg and you weren’t believed but instead mocked for “attention seeking”? Or be told you were making it up?
“Mental health is real and is something we need to give as much attention and training to as physical health and wellbeing.
“Mental health can be debilitating to the fittest and most confident people; it’s indiscriminate. Remember that we have no idea what personal battles people are fighting behind closed doors.
“People suffering with their mental health can indeed look sad and withdrawn. However, there are those who are deceptively good at hiding their suffering. They may appear on top of the world, have everything they could wish for, and look like their life is perfect, but still be suffering with mental health issues.
“As a business owner, director, manager or colleague, we need to listen, offer and provide support where we can. This could just be signposting to different organisations that can help, such as The Samaritans or the Mental Health Foundation. The most important step is letting people know that it’s ok to not be ok and there is help out there – the strongest and bravest thing they will ever do is make that first move of asking for help and admitting they aren’t ok.
“You don’t need to do much, a simple ‘open door’ policy, and publicising those groups and organisations that can help, will listen, and won’t judge. This doesn’t just make sense from a compassionate perspective, but by supporting your team, your business will benefit: it is estimated that for every £1 spent on workplace mental health initiatives, there is a £9 ROI through higher retention rates and increased productivity levels.”