Fighting Mental Health in Employment

Fighting Mental Health in Employment

Poor mental health can have a massive impact on employment and in some cases can lead to termination from the role because lack of support or communication between employers and employees. For example around 12.7% of sickness days are due to mental health conditions potentially without the knowledge of the employer . Struggling with mental health, especially depression and anxiety, can cause fatigue, the inability to concentrate and poor attention. Meaning completing day to day tasks can be extremely difficult and in some cases an impossability.

During my struggle with poor mental health, I have been in and out of work for a number of reasons (although not all poor mental health related.) However battling with my demons and trying to progress, create and excel in a career I haven’t yet decided was something I couldn’t get to grips with. When a particularly bad day happened I was unable to focus on anything other than myself, I became self obsessed and was numb to the fact that people could notice this type of thing which incidentally wasn’t helped by the fact all my working experience has been jobs that involved management, independence, high pressure and responsibility that could affect the entire business leaving me with an incredible amount of stress on how to run a business on no training what so ever. It’s extremely hard to even begin to try and understand the struggles of trying to battle depression and anxiety nevermind trying to juggle these mental health issues and work effectively during these particularly bad periods.

1 in 6 people in the past week have experienced a common mental health problem and this will no doubt rise as the years go on which is why I believe it’s so important to talk and express poor mental health in both personal and career aspects. Trying to better the support between employers and end the stigma of mental health which makes it so hard to talk about such important and yes delicate issues that many of us will suffer from. Many people will want to work but due to struggling they do not feel they can gather the support and understanding from their employers to express their mental health issues and what steps they may need to carry out their daily tasks to the best of their ability without fear of being judged, misunderstood or taken advantage of. During my time working in an office, I found it extremely hard to balance my stresses in personal life and business/job role stresses during a bad period. In some cases I felt I wasn’t at work at all and was just staring at my screen watching the day go by without achieving anything at all, of course, I would beat myself up for not being able to achieve anything throughout the day. Making the days following this pretty much a roundabout of no attention, failure and self-hatred. I have also previously decided to leave employment due to the embarrassment of going to therapy in which I was unable to tell them I couldn’t do certain shifts because of this. Which really opened my eyes to how we see mental health as a society and the stigma we have created of people who suffer from poor mental health. I created in my mind the reactions of everyone, I wasn’t able to communicate that I was struggling with workload because I feared that they would take the role away from me, they believed I wasn’t cut out for it, I was too young to have that responsiability anyways or they didn’t want to give me shifts because I was CRAZY. For me, a big thing of mental health is the fact I was scared that everyone would think I’m crazy or weak and would often feel sick at the thought of either of these which is why it took so long for me to seek the help I needed.

Recently I have discovered a company called Big Ambitions that helps people suffering from poor mental health to gain and offer to support to stay in work in numerous ways that help you, for example, they can talk to the employers about mental health for you and give you tips for interviews, applications and even create the opportunity for work experience┬áto try and get you in the door of your career. I also want to highlight ‘Time To Talk’ day (Thursday 7th February) that gives employees the opportunity to talk about their feelings and be more open about their mental health issues. Time to talk day is an event created by Time to Change which are taking steps to improve the conversation poor mental health working to end the stigma and improve the communication within society┬áto help support those in need.

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