It’s okay not to be okay
Mental health is an issue that affects almost everyone at some point in their life, whether it’s directly or indirectly. In this blog, Equilibrium’s culture assistant and mental health first aider. Lyndsey O’Hagan discusses the important of recognising mental health issues in the workplace.
What are some common mental health issues that people experience/are mental health issues common?
The numbers are really quite astounding. One in four of us will experience a mental health issue in any given year and that’s just the numbers gathered by the NHS – as we know, many people choose to cope on their own. The most common mental health issues are depression, anxiety and those associated with drug and alcohol misuse. Throughout the course of any person’s life, it’s highly likely that they will develop a mental health issue or have close contact with someone who does, so it’s so important to be aware of the support that is available and not delay treatment.
Why is it important for employers to look after their team’s mental health?
A healthy team is a happy team, as cliché as it sounds. Giving people the information, guidance and support they need to maintain a healthy mind and body is only ever going to be a good thing. Here at Equilibrium it is clear from the get-go that the wellbeing of the team is at the forefront of what we do. We are constantly evolving to ensure we are providing the best we can. No one wants to be down and sometimes all it takes is for someone to be able to signpost information or take some time out of their day to have a conversation.
What can employers do to prevent mental health issues? (preventative measures as oppose to reactive as the below questions asks)
There are so many things that can be done to prevent ill mental health. Equilibrium tries to incorporate these as much a possible, for example, we have a bi-monthly meditation session that encourages mindfulness and self-reflection, massages, access to funded counselling, an employee support system where the team can access a huge amount of information and councillors via phone 24/7, yoga sessions which take place regularly, access to a quiet room and I’m now extremely proud to be our first qualified mental health first aider!
What measures can companies take to help their team if they are suffering?
The most important thing is noticing and being aware that someone might be struggling and making time in your day to speak to them. At Equilibrium we make it clear to everyone where they can access help, who they can speak to and that it’s okay not to be okay. Just knowing that there is support around you in case you need it can often help massively.
If somebody doesn’t have a supportive employer, what can they do/where can they go?
If your company doesn’t have anything in place at the moment, don’t worry. You can access plenty of information at www.mind.org.uk or, if you would like to see someone but don’t want to go to your GP, you can use the self-referral service online to gain access to counselling. However, if you need urgent help please contact the Samaritans free on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about how Equilibrium encourages a positive workplace culture here.