“People are scared to talk about it, but they should be scared about not talking about it.”
There is currently a lot of buzz around the subject of mental health, but whilst we debate about it, how can we really get to grips with managing mental health within our organisations?
This post is just a simple outline of how you can start to structure those trickier conversations and allow people to speak openly about their mental health at work. It is important to remember that the steps towards positive mental health cultures begin with creating a safe space within our organisations.
When I began writing this piece, it was difficult to fully piece together what the picture of men’s mental health looks like from a man’s perspective, not because I’m a woman, but because so few are reluctant to speak out. In this case, it makes this piece all the more worthwhile.
Unfortunately, around one in eight men in England are currently living with a mental health issue and with suicide being the largest cause of death for men under 35, it only highlights the scale of this problem. So why are so many people reluctant to talk about it? Maybe it is because so many men may be reluctant to seek support, there are thousands of men suffering in silence due to the stigma surrounding this taboo subject.
Sadly many are afraid to speak openly about their mental health even with those closest to them, and whilst this topic is not a new issue, people are still shying away from it, so isn’t it time we start talking openly about men’s mental health?
It has been branded the worst day of the entire year (I know, tough crowd, huh?!) but is Blue Monday really that bad?
Blue Monday was actually a gimmick created by a travel company in an attempt to convince people to book a holiday, and it worked! Blue Monday is actually a big day for retailers, and with the early dark nights, the grey cold weather, the passing of the jolly Christmas festivities and the tight finances can all contribute to feeling a bit blue at this time of year.
It is safe to say that we can all pretty much agree that Monday is not the most exciting day of a week, and it is always hard to get back into the swing of things at work after a nice relaxing weekend. But aren’t we being a little bit harsh on the third Monday of January? Can we really assume it to be the most depressing day of the year? Personally I do not think so, but as with everything, it is a matter of perspective, but one thing is for sure, the media channels love to bring it to our attention every year, however, it is almost always in a negative light.
Long lie in’s, fresh coffee, roast dinners, long walks, time spent with friends and loved ones, Sunday’s are unknowingly filled with all of those things that make us feel good, making them the perfect day to practice self care without even trying!
Taking time for ourselves is becoming increasingly important, as our lives become busier by the day, the levels of stress increase and therefore we have to make sure we are managing these levels so that is doesn’t have a negative impact upon our mental health.
Self care covers every aspect of our lives and how we feel; from our mental health to our physical health, therefore, if we are not operating on all cylinders, then we are likely to feel sluggish and generally more negative.
Today is world mental health day and whilst social media is alive with support, I can’t help but think about how mental health has become such a wider issue and how this has been responded to within organisations.
Long gone are the days where people “leave their problems at the door” before walking into their workplaces each morning, now there is a much greater emphasis for organisations to be more proactive when it comes to supporting employees mental health and wellbeing.
Promoting positive mental health at work is a great place to start, many employers have Employee Assistance Programmes, Occupational Health facilities and some are taking it that one step further by implementing Mental Health First Aiders within their businesses to proactively support employees.
Many people believe that the harder you work, the quicker you’ll climb the career ladder quicker, resulting in more money and a greater sense of achievement. WRONG!
Researchers from City University have collected information from over 500,000 people in 30 different European countries, and considered the effects of long working hours hours, verses the effort put into an individual’s job against measures of wellbeing, and have linked this to career outcomes.
The research is a painful read, especially for those who put in the hours in a bid to increase their prospects. The study revealed a connection between an increased work volumes and reduced wellbeing. The results also highlight the negative effects of working too hard such as increased stress levels and increased risk of burnout, this is shown to outweigh the reward for demonstrating commitment and going the extra mile.
A recent report produced by the Chartered Institute of Managers (CIM) has revealed that managers are working an extra 44 days per year above their contracted hours. This is leading us towards a concerning management crisis.
In days where it is the normal expectation to never be “off duty” managers have a tendency to work unpaid overtime, and with continued advances in technological ways of communicating, there is an increasing culture of always being available. The report highlights that 59 per cent of managers admitted they check their emails outside working hours. The increased presenteeism combined with technology is having a detrimental impact upon managers’ health and wellbeing.
In short; the way we are working now, is simply not working at all.