Mental health has such a stigma attached to it that it often gets overlooked, or swept under the rug. We say no more! If you’re reading this, I’m going to share a post that is a bit different from our usual… but something I think needs to be addressed and talked about. Seeing as last week was National Mental Health Week, including World Mental Health Day on the 10th of October… now is our time to recap and bring more positive awareness to the matter and talking about mental health at work.
National Mental Health week took place October 9th – October 13th, including World Mental Health Day on October 10th, to top it off all of October is Mental Health Month in New South Wales. I’m so ecstatic that this past week happened, and that October continues to be a month of awareness. It’s important that we all learn how to positively manage our mental health at work, and in our every-day lives. You may not personally suffer from any mental health battles, but this may bring to light how to handle those around you that may.
Frankly Bringing Awareness
With mental health being a taboo subject, it is easy for those who suffer to feel alone and embarrassed about their mental state. However, a number of high-figured individuals have openly spoken out about their struggles and challenges facing mental health.
To name just a few…
Prince Harry has openly spoken about suffering from anxiety as well as panic attacks after the death of his mother. Former cricketer, Freddie Flintoff, opened up about struggling with depression and the struggle to previously open up and talk about is challenges. Rapper, Professor Green, also opened up about his mental health struggles.
If you do struggle with mental health, please know that you aren’t alone and those in the limelight also sometimes suffer.
Positively Manage Your Mental Health At Work
Moving toward a more open discussion around mental health is the pathway to breaking the previous taboo subject, and making it ‘normal’. You shouldn’t feel afraid, embarrassed, or worse-off when openly sharing your struggles and talking through what affects you. So, how can we manage our mental health at work?
Don’t Sweep It Under The Carpet
It’s important that mental health at work isn’t swept under the carpet, especially if you are the one feeling overwhelmed. If you’re experiencing any mental health struggles, try to approach your employer about your issues. When doing so, you don’t have to be completely specific, but mention that you are struggling or have some concerns and that you would benefit from some time off to seek advice.
Remember though, once you speak up it can’t be unsaid, so be sure you are confident in yourself and ready to talk about your mental health. Some workplaces, like mine offer a free 24hour hotline, or a number of face-to-face consultations and access to a live well portal. Ask your HR department if your workplace offers any assistance programs that you can utilize.
If you don’t speak up and speak out, you are denying yourself support or the opportunity to take advantage of assistance programs.
Switch Off After Work
If your workday is 9-5, then make sure it’s 9-5. It’s crucial to switch off after work, especially in today’s modern world with our smartphones constantly buzzing. The balance between work and personal time is critical to maintaining a positive mental health state.
Manager or boss making you stay later than your 9-5? Make sure you speak out, and speak up to let them know your concerns and that you need to establish healthy boundaries with work and personal life.
Make Changes In The Workplace
Find yourself stressing out at work? Make changes to your work environment. It may not seem like much, but try adding a little greenery to your desk if you can. Succulents are low-maintenance and it may bring you another purpose outside of work to coming into the office.
Have a boring background on your computer? Try making a background that is uplifting or of your favourite place. Bring in a small picture of your family, significant other, dog/cat and put it on your desk. Make your desk your personal space.
Utilize your lunch-break and make it a point to go outside for a walk or to get some fresh-air. I talked about how taking a moment of gratitude every-day shifted my mindset of the workplace and the importance of going outside here.
Now is your chance to make a stand and help break the stigma attached to mental health. Whether you may be struggling, or know someone who is help make a stand and bring awareness to mental health.
Why not take a mental health stress test to see if you may be affected by depression or anxiety? It’s confidential, 10 question test, presented by BeyondBlue. You can take the test by clicking here.
*Please note, we are not clinical psychologist and offer only our opinion and do not take liability or responsibility for any problems that may present themselves.