This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and we want to talk about it. As such an important topic, mental health isn’t spoken about enough, especially in the workplace.
The much needed awareness week is hosted by The Mental Health Foundation and is taking place from Monday 13th May up until Sunday the 19th May.
The Mental Health Foundation are the UK’s leading public mental health charity. Their aim is to create a world with good mental health for everyone. Through research and education, they are dedicated to finding and addressing the source of the problem.
Since 2001, The charity
With the UK in a Mental Health Crisis, charities like this one are vital.
- One in six people over the age of 16 had a common mental health problem in the week prior to being interviewed
- On average, around 16 people end their own lives every day. That’s approximately one person every two hours
- In 2014, 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and older showed symptoms of anxiety or depression
- In 2013, depression was the second leading cause of years lived with a disability worldwide, behind lower back pain. In 26 countries, depression was the primary driver of disability
- In 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety disorder more than 1 million cases of addiction and almost 4 million cases of mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, in the UK
Last year, The Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people. This is why the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 is relating to Body Image.
The statistics above are incredibly saddening, there needs to be a real sense of urgency in finding and addressing the root of the problem. We all need to do our bit in helping to raise awareness and decreasing the stigma attached to mental health issues. Just talking about it helps more than you think! If you want to know other ways in which you can get involved, check out the Mental Health Foundation website here.
Our friends over at Founded Wellness are a company founded upon a passion for workplace wellness. Through workshops and classes, they aim to make people feel better at work. For this Mental Health Awareness Week, they have created a poster that includes a few simple everyday wellness tips for the workplace. We downloaded it for our office to remind the team of the importance of wellness. If you want a copy for your team click here.
A big priority for Single Malt is the wellbeing of our team; we do our best to ensure that everyone is feeling their best. We promote wellness in our team’s work life but also wellness in their personal life, through perks such as flexible hours and remote working.
This Mental Health Awareness week we are hosting our very own office yoga session. Whilst this is only a small gesture, studies on the NHS website show that yoga may bring long-term benefits for people with mental health issues such as depression.
In modern society, mental health is a greatly significant subject, and we believe that it is a very important topic to talk about. This is why we are getting involved and trying to do our bit to raise awareness.
We have a very open and approachable culture at Single Malt and we welcome any discussion within our team, including conversations surrounding the topic of mental health. Research carried out by the mental health charity Mind has suggested that the stigma and culture of silence surrounding the topic is very costly to employers.
Mental Health at Work Statistics:
(statistics from Mind and The Mental Health Foundation)
- More than one in five agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them
- 14% agreed that they had resigned and 42% had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them
- 30% of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed’
- 56% of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don’t feel they have the right training or guidance
- Working people with mental health problems contribute £226m a year to the UK economy – that’s 12.1% of GDP
- In 2017/8 mental health problems accounted for 15.4 million sick leave days in the UK
- 300,000 people a year leave the workplace because of mental health problems
Whilst mental health issues are unfortunately a possibility for everyone in any walk of life or working environment, they seem to be more prevalent in the creative industries. An article published in the Guardian stated that creatives, such as “painters, musicians, writers, and dancers were, on average, 25% more likely to carry the gene variants [for depression] than professions the scientists judged to be less creative, among which were farmers, manual labourers, and salespeople.”
The design industry is notorious for high-stress environments and long hours and whilst it is amazing that most creatives love what they do, the strain on individuals mental health is evident. Mental health issues are so common, yet they are not talked about enough, the reason for this is fear of being discriminated against. Research done by The Mental Health Foundation states that “One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem in their lives, and nine out of ten of these people will suffer discrimination because of it.”
So, if you are an employer or lead a team of people, starting a conversation in your workplace is a great thing to do not only for your employees’ wellbeing but for your own as well.
If you’re reading this and need help with mental health issues, talk to someone you trust, your GP or The Samaritans, they offer emotional support 24 hours a day – in full confidence. Call 116 123 – it’s FREE.