World Mental Health Day 2017 #WMHD2017

World Mental Health Day 2017Today (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day 2017.  It’s a day where we all come together to raise mental health awareness.

Dorset Mind has a packed schedule of events throughout this week, which you can find here.  Our programme of special events started on Saturday at Bridport’s Mindfest, where we networked with other notable organisations.

The theme for #WMHD2017 is ‘Mental Health in the workplace.’  And here’s what other people are saying on the subject…

Mind Charity

In a survey of 15,000 employees:

  • Men are twice as likely to have mental health problems due to their job (32%), compared to problems outside work (14%).
  • Women say both these factors are equal (20% job, 19% outside of work).
  • Two in five women (38%) feel the culture in their organisation makes it possible to speak openly about their mental health problems compared to one in three men (31%). This suggests that although men are more likely to have mental health problems because of their job, women are more likely to open up and speak support from their manager.
  • Interestingly 3 in 4 line managers (74%) feel confident in supporting a team member with mental health problems.  Only 3 in 5 male line managers feel they have a good understanding of how to promote the mental wellbeing of their staff, compared to 3 in 4 female managers.

Previous Mind research suggests that men often try to find ways of dealing with their problems independently rather than reaching out & sharing their problems. Rather than talking, men will watch TV, exercise or self-medicate.

Mind have a Workplace Wellbeing Index that they’re encouraging companies to sign up to. It allows companies to examine their management practices, policies & assess how effective their mental health support & initiatives are.  It helps find out where organisations are doing well and where they could improve their approach to mental health in the workplace.

Time to Change

Sue Baker (Director of Time to Change), said in May 2017 ‘We need to open up about mental health in the workplace.

And since then, Time to Change have embarked on a creative ad campaign with Channel 4, which you can see on their website.  It encourages men in particular to support their friends, and get them to talk.  The strapline is ‘If your friend’s acting differently, step in.’

And here’s Time to Change’s reasons why we should all learn a little bit more about mental health…

  • 1 in 4 British workers are affected by mental health conditions like anxiety, depression and stress each year.
  • Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee each year.
  • 95% of employees calling in sick with stress give a different reason.

Looking after the mental health of employees makes business sense: tackling stigma can make a real difference to sickness absence rates, presenteeism levels, staff wellbeing and productivity, and retention.

Time to Change have an Employer Pledge that they encourage employers to commit to.  By signing the TTC Employer Pledge, 95% of employers said it had a positive impact on their organisation.

Rethink

Rethink believe that people with mental health issues are entitled to be treated fairly at work.   To ensure this reasonable adjustments can be made by their employers.

Asking their employer for such adjustments is a legal right.  It ensures that no barriers exist to stop people with mental health problems being able to apply for or carry out a job.

Rethink’s useful “What’s reasonable at work” guide provides information about rights at work for people with a mental illness.

World Health Organization

During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work.  Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing.  Initiatives put in place to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental health problems deliver consistently.  Gains will be seen not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work.

A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems.  It could involve harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.

See their website for a helpful information sheet, and also additional information on depression.  Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

Whatever you do this World Mental Health Day, encourage people around you to talk about their mental health.  It can really make a difference…

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