Shhhh! Keep it to yourself

In offices across the country, we all talk about physical health. Every sponsored cycle is cheered and how a cough won’t shift is discussed at length. The fitness and wellness or otherwise of our colleagues is a part of our work life. However, some subjects are not discussed and they usually involve our minds. Having the conversation is an essential first step when isolation is one of the biggest problems for people experiencing mental health difficulties. This becomes even more important in a workplace, where performance and productivity are monitored and where stigma still hampers conversations about one’s mental health issue.

Of workers who had been off work with stress, 95% cited other reasons to their employer (like an upset stomach or a migraine). Only 5% said that they were too stressed to work. And if an employee is off work for more than six months with a mental health issue, they have only a 20% chance of returning to work within five years.

Removing stigma in the workplace around mental health and creating a culture of openness is essential. If managers understand mental health, they are in a position to develop better outcomes for employees and the organisation. Maudsley Learning at Work can help managers by training them to start the dialogue and challenge myths.

Maudsley Learning at Work is facilitating a mental health training taster workshop on 17 June, focusing on awareness, skills and best practice in the workplace. A crucial component of successful working relationships is communication. With Jessica Carmody, mental health advocate, writer, speaker, artist and change specialist, KPMG, and Dr Michael Holland, Deputy Medical Director and Chief Clinical Information Officer atSouth London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, we want to encourage our audience to think about ways to promote open and honest conversations about people’s mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

We will also discuss how this helps increase productivity, engagement and benefits the business as a whole. Addressing mental health in your workplace shouldn’t just be seen as a ‘corporate good deed’ but as a way to save costs and increase productivity in the long term.

Contact the Maudsley Learning at Work team to discuss line management training to raise awareness of mental health issues, discuss appropriate language, help challenge myths and assumptions and de-stigmatise mental health issues within your workplace.

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