Mental health affects us all. How we think, how we feel and how we live our daily lives. The illness refers to a wide range of conditions that relate to how a person feels, perceives a situation and behaves. These range from mild levels to really quite severe depending on the strength of the illness, of which there are over 200 classified forms.
If you have poor mental health you may find that the ways you react to certain situations and feel about things becomes difficult, and in some cases impossible. The same as if you had a physical illness, a broken wrist would affect your daily tasks such as driving, lifting and even eating. The majority of people would see their Doctor and undertake appropriate treatment. However, mental health hasn’t always been looked upon in the same efficient way.
Looking after your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.
Getting to know the Facts and Figures
Mental health has become mainstream in the press and media over recent years, with more and more people opening up about their past and current difficulties with their mental health. However, few of us know how to differentiate between one disorder to another.
- Depression – Around 3 million people in the UK are diagnosed with depression every year, making this the highest and most common form of mental illness not just in the UK but also worldwide. The mental health charity, Mind, have researched that more than half of these people will or have tried to commit suicide because of their illness.
- Anxiety – In a lifetime, most people will have the feeling of anxiousness whilst coping with stressful events or changes, particularly if it has a big impact on your life. 25% of anxiety sufferers are between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. Spotting any early signs of anxiety is essential, especially for young people in order to support them and prevent further mental health illnesses.
- Bipolar – Bipolar is a type of depression that is often characterised with mood swings from one extreme to the other. From feeling really high to crashing to a depressively low mood.
- Stress – Most of us have, or certainly will experience some strain of stress in our lifetime. 85% of UK adults are experiencing stress regularly. Although stress is not a psychiatric diagnosis, it can cause and aggravate underlying mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. An individual may think that this is well controlled but added stressors can potentially pull these issues to the surface.
It has been noted that 1 in 5 people will call in sick due to workplace stress. Although it may not feel so at the time, starting a conversation about mental health doesn’t have to be difficult. More than 60% of employers said that they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but need specialist guidance of how to do so in the correct and most effective way.
Spot the Signs
Early intervention is key in the diagnosis of a mental health illness and supporting someone that may be struggling to come to terms with the illness. Many people suffer in silence when they have a mental health condition and reports show that just 21% of people with a mental health condition are actively in employment. By tracking absence, employers can identify when people are taking regular days off sick or more days than usual. This could be the first sign that there may be underlying mental health conditions.
Act now, before it’s too late
Statistics from ‘The Shaw Mind Foundation’ show that within the UK, mental health problems in the workplace cost the economy approximately £70 billion annually.
Training and resources focused around mental health are there to help enforce a workplace culture that encourages continuous development and self-improvement of staff, and in turn will help to maintain and control the mental health of your staff.
Acorn Occupational Health can provide the following services:
Well-Being Audit (Stress Audit)
This is a questionnaire based anonymous stress audit for businesses. It enables the employer to understand whether there are significant issues regarding employee well-being. It considers the most prevalent stressors in the organisation, whether they are real or perceived and an employee’s ability to cope. A report is then produced for the employer that offers advice regarding approaches that may reduce stress in the workplace.
BOUNCE Back Workshop
Acorn have recently launched a ‘BOUNCE Back Workshop’ which helps individuals with their mental health and resilience. This is a 1-day course where individuals will be given an understanding of stress, how to identify its potential sources, maintain focus in difficult situations and how to remain calm, in control and emotionally balanced. It also gives managers the correct advice in order to provide the appropriate support to employees and colleagues. All of the tools taught on the workshop enable an individual to ‘bounce back’ from setbacks that might occur at any stage.
Stress / Resilience Training
What does stress look like? What exactly is stress? This training covers the effects of stress and how you as an individual or an employer can learn to help. It also covers personality types along with the factors affecting how someone reacts to pressure and how employers can help to support these situations.
This is a comprehensive medical assessment where employees are reassured that they are in good health, or that early action could prevent ill health. Dependant on your requirements, the medical can include blood pressure, pulse, urinalysis, mental health review, vision, cholesterol and glucose checks, a musculoskeletal review, weight and advice about lifestyle, diet and fitness.
EAP (Employee Assistance Programme)
Acorn’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, online and on the telephone. Designed to answer your questions immediately or to refer you to the most appropriate advisor, counsellor or source of information. The service includes legal, financial, consumer and personal advice and it is all completely confidential.
Acorn can arrange counselling referrals with trained professionals who complete therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. We can also arrange appointments with Psychiatric specialists, depending on the individual’s requirements.
Whether it is yourself that is dealing with a mental illness or have an employee who is suffering, it is key to recognise that with the right guidance and help, a mental health illness is one that can be treated.
Don’t ignore your concerns, start your recovery now. For more information on the services that Acorn provide, please contact the team on 01260 277797 or email email@example.com.