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Your mental health isn’t something to be ignored. Being honest and open about your feelings should be second nature, but so many of us struggle to talk. So how can we change this?

We all know what to do when we cut our finger or become ill with the flu, but what can we do when we’ve received some terrible news and everyday stress becomes too much?

Approximately 1 in 6 people experience mental ill health in the workplace (data from Royal College Psychiatrists) and this number is increasing.

With the health of our bodies and minds so closely linked, it’s time we stop focusing on just the health of our bodies. Slowly, as more of us have open and honest discussions about our mental health and improve our awareness, we can reduce the stigma that surrounds it.

Here’s an informative video from Psych2Go explaining some of those misconceptions …

My experience in providing mental health first aid in my workplace has taught me the importance of creating a culture where people are not ashamed of their situations. Mental health is part of us all: it’s not going away. What we can aim for is to educate ourselves and hope that with understanding comes acceptance. 

Here are a few key factors that need our focus. It’s surprising how simple but effective these can be in providing positive support for our peers and ourselves:

SPEAK UP:

Eliminate the stigma by speaking up – fighting the stigma doesn’t mean big public gestures. It simply means making mental health part of everyday discussions and actively listening. Be receptive, be open, be empathetic. If you find a quote or article that resonates with you, like it, share it, email it to a friend!

BALANCE:

Promote a healthy work/life balance – we all want to succeed but working non-stop causes unmanageable stress and burnout. Improve this balance by disconnecting from your devices. Get outside. Get involved in social activities or rekindle a hobby you once enjoyed.

SELF-CARE:

Practising self-care doesn’t mean that you are selfish. With an abundance of technology in our lives remembering to get some quality ‘me time‘ has never been so important. Take regular breaks when you’re at work. Meditate. Get active. Most importantly, find what works for you.

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