World Mental Health Day
10th October is World Mental Health Day. The day provides a chance for us all to think about our own mental health, as well as how we might be able to recognise and help others experiencing mental health problems.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, the latest large-scale survey in England suggested that one in six people experience the symptoms of a mental health problem in any given week.
Mental health problems can affect us in many different ways. At work, we might notice we are more tired than usual, make more mistakes, have difficulty motivating ourselves, or become short-tempered or withdrawn.
We can still find mental health a difficult topic to talk about, although it is great to see the awareness of mental health increasing throughout society. There is still a concern of discrimination for people with mental health problems and this is a major contributing factor for why people don’t like to talk to their colleagues about how they are feeling.
We can all take steps to look after our own mental health, but this can be tricky when we are feeing anxious or depressed. It is important, therefore, that we can help to support those colleagues experiencing mental health problems, who may be finding it difficult to cope alone.
Here are three things that we can do to help a colleague experiencing mental health problems:
- Ask how they are. It might seem obvious, but just asking how they are shows that you care and that you are willing to listen. If they feel they don’t have to avoid the issue you can help them feel more comfortable at work.
- Be patient. You might feel that you want all the details about what is going on, but don’t forget they may not be ready to open up straight away. It can take time for someone to feel ready to talk, so just make sure they know that when they’re ready to talk, you’re ready to listen.
- Don’t just talk about mental health. Your colleague won’t want to be defined just by their mental health, so carry on and chat about the things you’ve always chatted about, whether that’s your weekend hobbies, holidays or favourite restaurants.
If you’re concerned about a colleague at work, offer them your support. Listening and empathy are skills we all possess which we can use to help others around us.
Useful links and resources:
Charity providing support if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5.30pm)
A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Charity for sufferers of depression. Has a network of self-help groups.
Men’s Health Forum
24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm)
Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia/OCD. Includes a helpline.
Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm)
Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.
Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5pm)
A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.
Phone: 0845 120 3778 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Mon to Fri,10am to 5pm & 7 to 10pm. Weekends 2 to 5pm)
Rethink Mental Illness
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 4pm)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30 to 10.30pm)
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: http://www.sane.org.uk/textcare
Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 4pm)
Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)
Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.
Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)
0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)
Advice on dealing with domestic violence.
Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)
Addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
Phone: 0845 769 7555 (24-hour helpline)
Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily 10am to midnight)
Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.
Phone: 0300 222 1122 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm. Weekends, 10am to 4pm)
Cruse Bereavement Care
Phone: 0844 477 9400 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
To find your local services phone: 0808 802 9999 (daily, 12 to 2.30pm, 7 to 9.30pm)
Phone: 0808 168 9111 (24-hour helpline)
Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)
Charity working with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.
Phone: 0808 808 1111 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
Advice on all aspects of parenting including dealing with bullying.
Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 9pm. Sat to Sun, 10am to 3pm)
The UK’s largest provider of relationship support.