World Mental Health Day 2017

World Mental Health Day 2017

Sarah McLoughlin
Posted by Sarah McLoughlin

Date: Monday, 09 October 2017. -  
Blog, Mental Health First Aid, First Aid

10th October is World Mental Health Day and this year marks the 25-year anniversary, the World Federation for Mental Health founded the awareness day in 1992. For 25 years, the aim of the day has been to raise awareness of mental health issues that can affect anyone at any time.

This year’s theme is ‘workplace wellbeing’ and given how much time the average person spends at work, it is important for our physical and mental health to find a healthy and rewarding environment.

So, whether you are an individual looking to boost your own wellbeing or an employer that wishes to support your staff, we share a few ways that you can get involved. 

Effects of Poor Mental Health

One in five people in the workplace experience a mental health condition, and while many employers are developing policies to support a healthy workforce, there is no shared vision for mental health in the workplace.

Sadly, there is still a stigma attached to mental health issues and approximately 85% of employees have mental health conditions that are undiagnosed or untreated.

Poor mental health can have a detrimental effect on not only your emotional well-being, but also your physical health with studies also showing a distinct link between having a diagnosed mental health disorder and an increased risk for cardiovascular issues. Increased stress levels, whether it be a result of work or other personal factors can increase hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol which can impact your blood pressure and heart rate.

The connection between mental and physical health is also a result of contributing factors that can be controlled. Someone with a diagnosed mental health disorder will be more likely to engage in lifestyle habits that could potentially have a negative impact on their physical health.

Tips for Staying Well at Work

People find it difficult to disclose that they have mental health issues in the workplace, yet no one is immune to them. 1 in 4 adults will be affected by mental health issues at some point in their life. There are a number of ways you can lift your mood and promote positive mental health and wellbeing at work:

  1. Use To Do lists- If you have your lists organised, you are less likely to stress and worry about forgetting something.
  2. Make the most of your lunch break- Exercise is known to release endorphins that will naturally boost your mood. It also gives you a chance to clear your head and get some fresh air. You could also make the suggestion to a co-worker if you would rather have some company.
  3. Reward yourself- Music can be a good distraction in helping you to remain calm if you are working hard to complete a stressful task. Research has also found slow, quiet music can encourage relaxation and reduce anxiety allowing you to focus better.
  4. Ask for help- If you feel your workload is too much or getting hard to control, speak to someone to help you resolve the problem by lessening up your workload.

Regularly talking to a friend and colleague about how you feel will additionally help to boost your mood, planning social activities is also a good way to take your mind off any stress factors you may be faced with in life.

Mental Health Day 2017 Pledge

Approximately 10% of the employed population have taken time off work at some point due to depression. An average of 36 workdays are lost for each episode of depression, the World Federation for Mental Health aim to change these statistics and there are a number of ways you can get involved.

Raising awareness on social media, using the relevant hashtag will help to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health issues. As well as this, you can sign the pledge to support and commit your team to do your best at being proactive in promoting:

  • Appreciation of employees and workers
  • Creating a supportive environment
  • Identifying early signs of burnout
  • Creating an organizational culture which reflects value systems and beliefs
  • Stress management
  • Building awareness and reducing stigma
  • Mental health wellness and providing support for employees who need it

A mentally healthy work environment:

  • Helps people to become happier, confident and more productive
  • Breaks the stigma of mental illness
  • Creates a culture of acceptance
  • Great company culture will attract more employees and retain current ones
  • Less stress means more benefits
  • Decreases social isolation, making people feel included
  • The direction our society needs to move in

Getting Involved

Anyone can become affected by mental health problems at any point in their life. Statistics show how common mental health problems are yet most people find it difficult to seek help. A wider awareness on these issues will put people at ease and encourage them to seek the help and support they need.

Let us know how you will be getting involved today to promote mental health and wellbeing in your workplace. Join the conversation by leaving a comment below or tweeting us @imptraining.

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