Mental health problems affect one in four of us, yet many employees suffering with mental-health issues are scared to open up to their boss, for fear of negative consequence or being met with a lack of understanding.
Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to be more open about mental health – to listen, to talk and to inspire positive change.
Time to Talk Day is an opportunity for companies to open up conversations about mental health. It is a chance to educate ourselves on different ways of reaching out and supporting our colleagues.
Knowledge trumps discrimination. Mental illness is still poorly understood in society, so the more informed you are, the better equipped you will be at identifying and responding to stigma in and outside of the workplace. Talking about mental health at work is effective, how you don’t have to give away your life story to make a positive impact, just being available to listen and knowing the facts can make a huge difference.
Here are some common myths on mental health:
Myth: Only certain people have mental health.
We all have mental health that can move up and down, just like our physical health.
Myth: Mental health problems are rare.
Mental health problems affect one in four people in any one year. So, even if you don’t have a mental health problem, it’s likely your best friend, a family member or work colleague will be affected.
Myth: People suffering from a mental illness cannot hold down successful jobs.
Research has shown that 60-70% of people with common mental disorders are in work (Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report, Dame Sally Davies, 2014). The chances are, you or probably work with someone with a mental health problem.
Myth: There is not much you can do to help someone you care about who is suffering from a mental health problem.
If someone you know is experiencing a mental health problem, just staying in touch can really help. For many people, it is the small things that friends do that can make a difference like visiting or phoning.
Myth: You can be open about mental health problems without fearing you will be treated differently.
People fear telling friends, family and work colleagues if they have a mental health problem because of stigma. In fact, 87% of people with a mental health problem have experienced discrimination
Want to do more for your workplace?
It is imperative that we create work environments which foster strong relationships and provide supports that allow people to flourish. These conversations should be two-way, but you have to know when to talk and when to listen. Zevo Health’s Mental Health Champion training provides employers will tools and resources which can make a real difference to not only their workplace culture but to the lives of their fellow colleagues.