Head Space – Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th May and, as a company, we’ve decided to wade into the conversation, in a bid to highlight the ‘everydayness’ of the issues associated with mental health and their relevance to all of us, in varying capacities.

Thanks to the works of a mix of charities and bodies, like Mental Health Foundation which is driving this week’s focus, the stigma around poor mental health is being chipped away at and is beginning to disappear.

Talking is very much a part of the process of getting rid of that stigma and, equally, part of the responsibility of being an employer is to ensure that the workforce is comfortable addressing these issues.

To underline that sense of responsibility, we are posting a series of YouTube videos, every day this week, highlighting these various issues and showing support for anyone who might currently be dealing with them.

Did you know…

…By 2030, mental health will be our largest single disease.

A recent report by the Lancet states that the burden of mental health has risen dramatically in the past 25 years. This is partly due to our aging population however, regardless of the why, the fact is that no other human condition has been neglected to the extent that mental health has, and it is currently costing UK industry approximately £2 billion per annum.

Changing perceptions

With one in four expected to suffer from mental health difficulties at some point in their lives, our biggest challenge is to find a way to change our perception of mental wellbeing and get leaders in business to recognize it and talk about it.

Stressing the point

Stress is a major factor in mental issues among office workers – it’s estimated that we spend approximately two hours outside office hours checking work emails, with devices firing notifications at us when we should be enjoying family time or, even, sleeping.

The corporate world is a highly competitive environment which has conditioned workers to stay glued to a screen. It’s up to employers to drive the need for regular breaks by showing empathy and taking on the responsibility for their employees’ wellbeing.

Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand

The Mental Health Foundation recommends a number of simple things that managers can encourage their staff to do to help in the alleviation of mental health issues, including keeping active, eating well, drinking sensibly and talking more.

It also suggests that managers encourage their workers to take time out for themselves to do something that makes them feel good or that they particularly enjoy.

Regardless of the advice and common sense directives, the main point for any leader to take from this is that wellbeing should be high on the agenda with proper mental wellbeing sessions included in the mix.

For more detail around what initiatives can be adopted to promote mental health and wellbeing, listen in to our daily talk.