Why it's good to talk mental health in the workplace

Why it's good to talk mental health in the workplace

Time 797 days ago Comments 0 comments

During the 2018 Time to Talk Day, workplaces up and down the country took the opportunity to raise awareness about mental health issues and get people talking openly about the subject. Of course, workplaces should be an open forum for discussing how we feel everyday and not just one day a year.

Which begs the question: how do we encourage these conversations?

Taking time out to have a cup of tea and a chat with someone can go a long way. Simply asking a colleague how they are is a good place to start. It may lead to them opening up a bit or they might just want to talk about last night's football.

Nevertheless, the simple act of asking that question – and listening to the answer – is the easiest way of letting someone know that you care and are willing to listen if they have any problems they wish to discuss. And if they don't have any problems, you can just have a good chat anyway.

How to help people in the workplace

According to an NHS study, an estimated one in four people will experience a mental health problem this year. It's a shocking statistic, which demonstrates the need to tackle the issue.

Even if you missed out on this year's Time to Talk Day, it's never too late to break the taboo of mental health. Here are some useful resources and ideas you can use:

  • Try these tips for supporting someone – mental health is a delicate issue and so it's difficult to know how to approach it. This interactive guide shows you how to approach different situations, whether it's a friend or colleague who appears to be struggling.
  • Become a Time to Change Champion - if you're passionate about mental health, then becoming a champion could be your opportunity to make a real difference to your workplace culture and to the lives of your colleagues.
  • Download the Time to Talk Communications pack – this pack contains a wide range of professionally produced posters, door signs, email templates and other materials which you can use to spread the word that it's good to talk at your place of work.
  • Host an event at your workplace – the Time to Change website has a wide range of ideas for events you could host, including: mental health pub quiz, lunch and learn sessions, and mindfulness activities.
  • Use the mental health calendar – the mental health calendar provides key mental health dates throughout the year, such as mental health awareness week, national stress awareness day and anti-bullying week.

Mental health issues are many and complex

Mental health problems cover a wide range of disorders and they can vary in severity. Unlike most physical ailments, they can be difficult to diagnose. Sufferers are often reluctant to tell people they have a problem and fear how they will be perceived if they did.

Some of the main mental health conditions include:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosis
  • Self harm
  • Suicidal feelings

The Time to Change website provides more in-depth descriptions of each condition: click here to find out more about these mental health issues.


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