World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October every year, with the overall aim of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and creating positive changes that support and improve mental health.
This World Mental Health Day, we encourage you all to consider how you can create learning opportunities for all your staff and increase their level of understanding of mental health.
We all deserve to feel safe and supported when talking about our mental health. But too often, mental health stigma leaves people feeling isolated and ashamed. At worst, it prevents people getting support, finding employment or having open conversations.
Attitudes towards mental health have improved, but the voices of many are still not being heard or understood.
Most people with mental health problems report being misunderstood by family members, shunned and ignored by friends, work colleagues and health professionals, called names and much worse by neighbours.
Stigma is the perception that a certain attribute makes a person unacceptably different from others, leading to prejudice and discrimination against them.
Mental health stigma and discrimination prevent people from seeking help: this can delay treatment and impair recovery. It isolates people, excluding them from day-to-day activities and making it hard to build new relationships or sustain current ones. It can stop people getting or keeping jobs.
Why is it key that we bring conversations about mental health into the workplace?
- 9 out of 10 people who experience mental health problems say they face stigma and discrimination as a result
- 60% of people said that stigma and discrimination are as damaging or more damaging than the symptoms of their mental health problem
- 35% of respondents said that stigma had made them give up on their ambitions, hopes and dreams for their life
- 27% said stigma had made them want to give up on life
Remote working and mental health
The way in which many of us work has seen a significant change over the last several months. Whether working from home has had a positive or negative impact on our mental health, the changes provide both challenges and opportunities for us all.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), almost half of the UK's workforce has been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Remote working has become the new norm for many who are used to office working, and this has come with a need to adapt and to increasing our use of digital tools, platforms and channels.
With the challenges faced in working from home - including increased isolation, loneliness and a lack of face-to-face communication - it's more important than ever to be mindful of our mental health and to address the stigma that surrounds discussing mental health openly and honestly.
A lack of face-to-face communication in person and a dependency on digital communication could create a further barrier to some of us feeling able to have a conversation about our mental health.
Whilst remote working means an increased reliance on digital platforms and tools, there is also an opportunity to use these to your advantage by employing them to address stigma around mental health and reach remote workers with information, tools and signposting to help manage their mental health and wellbeing.
The information and activities in this pack are designed with remote facilitation in mind. We hope you are able to use the digital resources to your advantage to reach as many of the employees in your organisation as possible and encourage employees to get involved in World Mental Health Day 2020.
A Workplace Activity Pack is available to download here. It is full of suggested activities that you can look to deliver remotely via digital platforms, alongside resources to support the promotion of your commitment to addressing mental health stigma and the events your employees can get involved in.
For more information and resources click here