How important is mental health?

How important is mental health?

“There is no health without mental health.” World Health Organisation

Look around your office.

Walking around an office with maybe 20 people at their desks, it seems impossible that 5 of the 20 people may be experiencing the symptoms of a mental illness right now. The statistics may even be weighted on the positive side because not everyone goes to the doctor.

Health and Wellbeing

Our wellbeing and of course our health depends on so many factors but it’s becoming very clear that our physical health is affected by our feelings and emotions. Our ability to solve problems or even go about normal every day activities can be adversely affected if we are feeling really down or anxious.

Why don’t we know that someone is mentally unwell? Because there is still a stigma attached to being the illness and perhaps a fearfulness of being unable to talk to anyone because we might be labelled unfairly of being unable to do our job. Episodes of feeling mentally unwell are often sporadic and we can all help by asking the right questions.

Are you OK day SUCKS!

It’s a great initiative. Right?
Not according to Jason or Emma who felt that it was just paying lip service to the idea. They were both going through a rough time but when someone asked if they were OK, in one instance, when the answer was no, the person walked off. For Jason, he felt compelled to answer, ‘I’m fine.’ when he clearly wasn’t.

People who are very anxious or depressed can be good at hiding it. We have some very high functioning people who are anxious but in a caring environment, a safe office environment, asking if someone is OK happens more than once a year on a special day.

Consider The Alternatives

Three million Australians are currently experiencing anxiety or depression.1
Every day, nearly eight people take their own lives.2

What can we do to stay safe and support others at home or at work?

Someone who is thinking about suicide will usually give some clues or signs to people around them, even though these might be subtle. Suicide prevention starts with recognising the warning signs and taking them seriously.

Warning signs might include:

  • A sense of hopelessness or no hope for the future.
  • Isolation or feeling alone – “No one understands me”.
  • Aggressiveness and irritability – “Leave me alone”.
  • Possessing lethal means – medication, weapons.
  • Negative view of self – “I’m worthless”.
    Drastic changes in mood and behaviour.
    Frequently talking about death – “If I died would you miss me?”.
  • Self-harming behaviours like cutting.
  • Risk-taking behaviours – “I’ll try anything, I’m not afraid to die”.
  • Making funeral arrangements.
    Giving things away (clothes, expensive gifts) – “When I’m gone, I want you to have this”.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Feeling like a burden to others – “You’d be better off without me”.
  • Talking about suicide – “Sometimes I feel like I just want to die”.
Education and training can really make a difference
Now you know what to look for, what do you do next?

We’re not trained medical staff but early intervention can and does make a difference. Mental Health First Aid courses include role play so that you have the opportunity to walk through a serious situation before it ever happens.

Elena is a trained Mental Health Instructor Book a 90 minute talk at your workplace or Elena can organise a course to suit your business.