Battling mental health disorders and lack of support in the workplace

Illustration  Ravi Jadhav

What should business owners do to further support mental health wellbeing?

Jenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive at the Mental Health Foundation, has said: "Despite growing awareness, there are sadly still too many people who don't feel safe talking about their mental health at work".

Every year on October 10, it's a day dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues all around the world, including sharing tips and advice.

If you are struggling, it's important to realize you aren't alone. At U of T, they laud the work of the Health and Wellness Centre and its range of services, from helping students to build coping skills to learning to recognize early on when they may need help.

It also emerged almost half of those who took part would make up a physical health excuse if they were off for a mental health reason, rather than discussing the problem with colleagues or managers. This is all a recipe for good mental health.

From a human resources perspective, mental health days are beneficial for everyone involved.

Matthew Scott, the Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "Research conducted by the mental health charity Mind shows that members of the emergency services are more at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the general population, but less likely to seek support".

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Recently published United Kingdom statistics show that mental health now affects one in four adults - and one in three sickness notes handed out by GP's for employers, are attributed to mental health conditions.

More than 150 people attended today's World Mental health Day event at County Hall in Maidstone with a number of organisations responding to Kent County Council's plea to sign the Time to Change pledge.

"We are asking people to talk about mental health, but this must be matched with an ability to listen compassionately and act appropriately".

"People were waiting in line for up to 45 minutes for a chance to speak to a mental health professional", said, Keane who obtained his Masters in health care policy and management from Harvard's School of Public Health. At least in the United States, nearly every county has mental health services ranging from crisis hotlines that are staffed 24/7 and ready to listen and help, to clinics that provide regular counseling and other mental health-related services to anyone, regardless of ability to pay. In the African region, lack of information, stigma and cultural issues are significant barriers that prevent people from seeking help.

She recommended mental health friendly workplace programmes and practices that promote employees' wellness and work-life balance. According to health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, this plan aims to treat an extra 1 million people by 2021, provide mental health services seven days a week, 24 hours a day and also integrate mental and physical health services.

Have you taken a mental health sick day? Employees need to see that they and their wellbeing are valued and that this isn't just a "tick box" exercise for the employer.

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