Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Absenteeism from mental health conditions increases year on year costing employers on average £1200 per employee per year! This year’s Mental Health Awareness week is focusing on body image.

How we see ourselves can greatly affect our self-esteem, confidence and cause social anxiety and other more serious issues.

On the flip side of the coin, our appearance can tell us a lot about how we are feeling. Negative changes in appearance or lack of personal care can be a big indicator that someone is experiencing poor mental health.

In my own experience I can reflect on times where my ability to cope has become compromised. Over time the daily routine activities like having a shower, drying my hair and dressing smartly have become chores that I hate. They become irrelevant and just seem like another source of stress.

Making an effort can become an overwhelming task when your head is overflowing with anxiety and hopelessness.

In my role my appearance is important so it is easy to spot the signs at an early stage. For others the signs may be subtle, someone may just look tired, sad or untidy. They may lose weight or seem withdrawn, either way it’s important to recognize the change and simply ask ‘How are you?’

Mental health awareness is essential in today’s workplace. If we can recognize the signs we can offer support and help people to recover before they get to crisis stage. Employers have a ‘Duty of Care’ to look after the mental health of all employees and can see great benefits from developing softer skills and a positive corporate culture.

Whatever you are doing this week, take a moment to reassess your company strategy. Are you doing the best you can to support your employees? Have you done a Workplace Stress Audit? Do your staff seem happy – have you actually asked them?

If the answer is ‘No’ it’s time to make mental health awareness a priority!

Chris Gold

Business Development Manager

Workplace Mental Health Ltd

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