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World Mental Health Day - Mental Health in the workplace

The World Federation for Mental Health established World Mental Health Day 25 years ago today. Each year a theme is chosen and this year it's Mental Health in the workplace.

The information pack they produce is packed with statistics and I'm going to talk about a few of them in this post. I've put together a vlog of some of the findings and I also conducted a couple of polls on Twitter.

I think the workplace is changing slowly and becoming more open to supporting staff and being a workplace that cares for wellbeing.

From the research I have conducted and my own experiences, there is still a HUGE amount of stigma and discrimination.

As a Time To Change champion I am passionate about raising awareness and changing the conversation and challenging stigma and discrimination.

I'm really open at work about my mental illness but still feel that people are afraid to engage in anything relating to mental health. There are subtle things that you notice but it is clear that not everyone is supportive and wants to listen or be in your corner. It's a hard battle but one that I am passionate about continuing.

So... what is stigma?
Using mental illness as descriptive words like "I'm so OCD" or "I'm so depressed now I'm back from my holiday". How can anyone feel like they can reach out and open up about their struggles when everything is a joke.

"You don't look ill" not all illness is visible and just because you can't see anything physically wrong, you shouldn't accuse them of "faking it".

"You're weak" "You're pathetic" "Everyone has depression" I can say from my own experiences that fighting depression was the hardest battle I have ever fought and to come through it is strength not weakness.

We really need to be kinder and supportive of each other. Having policies in place at work is great but we need to do more to ensure this is not a ticky box exercise. Having people with lived experience as mental health advocates who are implementing support and are visible within the workplace, encouraging people that it's ok to talk about mental illness.

It's okay not to be okay, talking about your mental health struggles is not a sign of weakness and workplaces need to ensure an open and supportive dialogue with staff at every level.

Here are the results of the Twitter polls that I make reference to in the below vlog. It is by no means an in-depth piece of research and analysis, but it is a snapshot of the apprehension of those with a diagnosed mental illness in being open about their mental health within the workplace.

So here's my little vlog!


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  4. My entire working career up until that point had only been the safe route with a large corporation. You know the life. The daily grind. The BS you put up with because you figure this is the ONLY way. I even went on to get a psychology degree because the jobs I had been looking at required it. When I finished my degree I found that the amount of education I had was once again not enough.
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  5. I tried anyway. Heaven knows why. Maybe just to see if I could or maybe because I was tired of working for the man hating my job and staying in debt. The first few months I just kind of half assed it. Like I said, I was mainly doing it for me. As I started to earn an income, make connections, helping people and getting results of my own...I really realized the potential.
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