With 1 in 5 employees experiencing mental health concerns and taking time off work in the last 12 months because of it, the time has never been more ripe to confront our own biases. What would your honest reaction be if you found out the person sitting next to you has been suffering with depression and anxiety for some time?
We need to remove the stigma attached to mental health in the workplace if people are to muster the courage to tell their story. This starts from the top. If you're a leader or manager in your organisation, you have the responsibility to encourage dialogue around mental health and set the tone for an organisational culture that is supportive and educated on this epidemic. What proactive measures do you have in place for your staff?
Mental Health Week is coming up next month (8th-12th October) but we shouldn't limit having these conversations to one week a year! I would encourage everyone working in an office to read this brilliant article by Amy Marlow who has been living with major depression, generalised anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and whose openness and honesty made me realise we need more people like her in every workplace!