It is easy when we see the words “mental health” to assume it just means illness or problems, but the truth is that we all have mental health.
The World Health Organisation defines “mental health” as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”
That does not mean that someone with poor mental health is unable to be productive or contribute to their community, and perhaps that thinking is part of the stigma surrounding the topic.
Recognising that we all have varying levels of mental health as we do physical health, is one small step towards breaking down the barriers surrounding mental illness and encouraging people to seek the help they need before the issues become debilitating.
Many of you will already be aware that 1 in 6 workers are suffering with a mental health issue in the UK as you read this. Numbers like this can sometimes be misleading.
When you consider that there are 34.2 million workers in the UK, that means there are 5.4 million people at work right now, suffering with mental illness. That is enough to fill Wembley stadium 60 times.
Despite the size of the problem it is not insurmountable.
We can all do things to promote our own positive mental health. The mental health foundation recommends these ten tips:
|· Talk about your feelings||· Keep active|
|· Keep in touch||· Eat well|
|· Accept who you are||· Drink sensibly|
|· Ask for help||· Take a break|
|· Care for others||· Do something you’re good at|
As an employer, there are also things you can do.
At THSP we are proud supporters of the construction industry initiative “Building Mental Health”. This scheme was set up by a group of likeminded organisations keen to recognise the good work already being carried out throughout the industry and to promote a unified and common sense approach to addressing the issue. There are no joining fees, boards or committees, only a commitment to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health, to provide training to employees and to recognise the work being done by other signatories to the charter. (www.buildingmentalhealth.net)
For more information on mental health training call THSP’s training department on 03456 122144