Mental Health Awareness Week x Girls in Work

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week x Girls in Work.

Here at Girls in Work, we are all too familiar with the impact mental health can have on your work - and, just as importantly - the impact work can have on your mental health. Which is why we're bringing you a very special week of content and bonus posts, all focusing on mental health, helping us to understand a little bit more about it, how we can best look after our own mental health in the workplace, and of course, help to spread a little awareness, too.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 6 people experience mental health problems in the workplace, with full-time working women being twice as likely to suffer from conditions such as anxiety and depression as full-time employed men. It is also estimated that nearly 13% of all sick days taken in the UK are attributed to mental health.

They're pretty staggering statistics, aren't they? I think we can all agree that attitudes towards mental health have drastically changed in recent years, however, there is still so, so much work to be done.

What do we need to work towards?

We need more people talking about it. We need everyone to feel comfortable being open and honest about mental health, and to not feel like they can't raise the subject with employers if they're struggling. We need work environments to, where possible, increase mental wellbeing, not make it worse. Most importantly, we need employers and employees to understand the impacts of mental illness and the best way to address that, both for themselves and their coworkers.

We need more managers to be understanding how mental health can impact our work and what it's like to suffer in the workplace. We need them to have more open and positive conversations with their employees, instead of waiting for someone else to broach the topic. And we need them to be able to spot the signs if a team member is struggling and needs help or flexibility to get them through a tough period.

Supportive management and colleagues are so important for any employee experiencing mental health problems in the office. We need managers that understand that it's not just something that comes from within us, but it's often caused by problems in our work environment and we need them to address those issues instead of ignoring them.

We need to get rid of the stigma around mental health. We need to get to a point where calling in sick because you need a mental health day doesn't fill us with an overwhelming sense of guilt.

We need more dedicated support networks and groups within businesses - or, if they do exist, we need these to actually be advertised and be more common knowledge within the workforce instead of something that only gets mentioned once a year.

We'll go into more detail around all of these issues, and more, over the next week. For now though, here are a few quick links with advice, support and tips & tricks on how to manage your mental health in the workplace.

Or, browse more of our Mental Health & Wellbeing posts below.