From 2018-2019, the total of working days lost due to depression, anxiety, and work-related stress was 2.8 million. Sometimes in the hectic hustle and bustle of reality and everyday life, we forget to take a step back and breathe. Taking care of our minds is, and should always be a priority, and is often forgotten or pushed to one side simply because we are too busy, or we aren’t quite ready to face these issues and ask for help. So how can we do our bit as a community, and human beings?
It is vocalised through charities, campaigners, professional health workers and mental health spokespeople that we must always listen, take notice. More than a quarter (28%) of UK workers said they would be uncomfortable speaking with their employers about their mental health issues. The “Time to talk” campaign Isn’t just the notion that someone suffering must speak up. It’s the belief that we must all start being vocal about these issues’ and struggles, so mental health is vocalised and unsilenced- so that people struggling and staying quiet feel more comfortable to seek help. That’s why we must talk.
Mental health struggle is common in both genders, but sadly in men, more so. Research shows that men seem to be more sensitive to certain stressors in their environment compared to women, such as those related to work and finances. In a recent UK study by Men’s Health Magazine, 44% of men said they’d struggled with anxiety at work. Men are also three times more likely to die by suicide, than women.
Practicing being kind is something that, contrary to belief and scepticisms, does not go un-noticed. Kindness is not just smiling at a stranger to “make their day” or telling your barista to “keep the change”. Nor is kindness saying yes to everything and everyone just to please. If you are not comfortable with this notion of caring and warm fuzzes… then simply start by listening. Listen to a friend, colleague or family member when they confide in you. Kindness is educating yourself on sensitive matters; inclusion, diversity, religion, disabilities and understanding that even without these factors, someone may react to a situation different to you simply because we are not all the same. As cliché as it sounds, you really must be kind to yourself so you can in turn, be kinder to others. Of course, it’s not all that simple, but it truly could save a life.
“Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem this year yet the shame and silence can be as bad as the mental health problem itself. Your attitude to mental health could change someone’s life.”
– Time to change org.