Mental health isn’t a new subject but, while it’s more openly discussed in general, there’s still a long way to go in terms of breaking the taboo.
Our own research about ‘mental resilience’ found that nearly 40% of people find it hard to talk to or open up to anyone about their mental health.
And, the same research found that 32% of employees felt they were treated differently by their line manager when returning to work after absence relating to mental ill health.
20% also felt their fellow colleagues’ attitudes towards them had changed, with responses including: “I felt that people were walking on egg shells around me which made me feel low and not want to speak to anyone” and “Due to the nature of my ill health colleagues were not sure how to approach me or what to say”.
Clearly, more education is needed, and, with 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem every year, it’s something we’re fully behind.
We recently supported ‘Time to Talk Day’, part of an anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, which aims to help end the misconceptions around mental health by breaking the silence around it and getting the nation talking.
Employers can encourage staff to talk more openly, and offer good levels of guidance and support by promoting mental resilience and mindfulness. This will be helped by reducing pressure on workloads, offering flexible working options and providing training for line managers when dealing with mental health issues.
No one should be ashamed to talk about their mental health. Just talking to and supporting someone can ensure they don’t feel alone and the offer of support can make such a big difference.
Get involved at: time-to-change.org.uk