Will mental health become a fad?
Some reported statistics for you to start of with;
- 16 million people in the UK have mental health conditions,
- Three in four mental illnesses start in childhood,
- Six in Ten people say poor mental health impacts their concentration at work,
- 70 million work days are lost each year due to poor mental health,
- £105 Billion is ‘lost’ each year to the UK economy because of poor mental health.
The more and more I hear mental health is being openly spoken about yet I fear that there is still an attitude towards mental health that is turning it into a tick box exercise. Or even worse “it will not happen to me.”
When it comes to dealing with mental health not only is it difficult to admit that you are vulnerable, but when you do people don’t know how to respond to someone admitting their vulnerability.
How can this be changed?
Off the back of attending a conference run by Give an Hour, it clearly indicated by its title that there was a need to change direction. I have no doubt that there is a lot to do in the UK to make this change. One key point is that ‘it will not happen to me.’ Hopefully, this will be the case. It does however depend on how you value your mental health.
Returning to the statistics there are 16 Million people in the UK suffer from mental health, that is from a population of approximately 66 million. Yes that is where the one in four people come from, it is probably better to say that 66 million people suffer from mental health.
Everyone has a degree of mental health. This is the first fact. This can be minor or otherwise, it will however, still be difficult to talk about stress as mental health condition. I urge you to look at the last time you were stressed and now consider how difficult the simple tasks became, as a result of the stress.
The cost of mental health to the economy, each year is around £105 Billion. In the year 2017/18 the NHS plan to spend £11.9 billion. The value of your own mental health is key no matter how many facts or figures your throw in the air you can not put value on your own health.
This leads me onto mental health becoming a fad; it’s a massive concern that the impact on the workplace has led to the perception of a new trend to be part of. Lots of employers are acknowledging mental health as having an impact. It is clear that nobody actually knows how to deal with it. Why? Simply mental health there is no one solution there is no one size fits all.
Imagine this. You walk into work having just had your leg traumatically amputated by a bus on the way in. You say. “Good Morning” to those you see, After the shock of what they have seen your colleagues, ask “are you okay?” you respond. “yes.” Its clear you are not okay but they ask.
Now imagine you walk in you feel rubbish getting out of bed was a task, you have had a sleepless night of flashbacks, you force yourself to go to work. Putting on your face, you turn up to work wishing that there was a bus to have hit you. You say.“good morning”, you get the reciprocated response “Morning.” Your world is falling down around you the pressure on your chest. Your mind is in overdrive yet nobody asks “how are you?”
What am I getting at? One aspect is ITS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY. I find it hard to emphasise the fact that you are not alone no matter how much you feel you are. The reason people don’t ask if you are okay, is not because they don’t care its because they can’t see what is wrong.
Mental health is not a new fad or trend it is finally becoming recognised for the debilitating life changer that it is.
Keep the conversation going. It is not because people don’t care its because they cant see and use a tweet from Karla Stevenson which is video relating to veterans, this quote works for all
“Stick your hand up if you haven’t stuck your hand up do it today.”
Its not a bank robbery its a fact, the help is out there and not just from professionals friends, family and helplines, search Google I wont signpost on this as they expire.