Updated: Jul 6, 2019
In 2015 when I was living in Manchester, UK I attended the NHS Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust one day training course 'Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work'. Last Thursday I attended the Mental Health First Aid training run by St Johns. Both course provided me with insightful information about mental health and mental health in the workplace.
Mental Health is defined as:
"a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being."
Mental health is about how we think and feel about ourselves and others, how we act and how we cope with all aspects of day-to-day life, such as how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Over the course of our life, we can all experience mental health issues to one degree or another. Anyone’s mental wellbeing can change, from day to day, month to month or year to year.
There is a wide range of factors that can contribute to poor mental wellbeing including:
Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
Family history of mental health
Financial issues such as poverty or debt
Unemployment or underemployment
Poor housing or homelessness
Life experiences, such as trauma, abuse, bullying
Childhood abuse, violence or neglect
Being a victim of violent crime
A long term physical health condition
Social disadvantage such as social isolation / loneliness
Being a carer for a family member or friend
Work related pressure and stress
The workplace is where most of us spend most of our time during the week. Morning is usually the time when we are up and out of the house, we have a few hours at home in the evening and then we are in bed sleeping, so our workplace is where we spend most of our time and our colleagues are the people we spend most of our time with during the week days.
Traditionally, the workplace has been more supportive of employees with medical health issues than it has been of employees with mental health issues.
The stigma of mental health in the workplace is still a huge issue that needs to be seriously addressed.
"Many people are fighting battles we know nothing about"
Considering that people spend most of their time at work, understanding what can cause poor mental health and stress in the workplace and how to be able to identify the signs is something that employers can no longer afford to ignore.
Our workplace wellness division Wellness Wise can provide employers with a strong understanding of how a good workplace can reduce stress and how to support staff and colleagues in improving their mental health and wellbeing.