by Kerry Tromanhauser
Today is World Mental Health Day. First established in 1992, World Mental Health Day is held on 10th October each year. Its intention is to raise awareness of mental health issues, increase education about them and try to get rid of any stigma that may be attached to mental health challenges. Today is all about encouraging people to look for help and support and raise mental health awareness generally.
Millions of people around the world are affected by mental health, with almost one billion estimated to be living with a mental health disorder at any one time. Despite its prevalence, mental health is one of the most neglected forms of health in the world today. In 2019, an estimated one in eight people were living with a mental disorder.
Of course, that was pre-pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 cannot be underestimated. In the UK, clinically significant levels of mental distress rose from 19% in 2018-19 to 27% in April 2020. Services, skills and funding for mental health remain woefully inadequate. The scale of the challenge facing us is enormous.
According to occupational health specialist Dr Steven Boorman CBE, there is now a “huge opportunity to use learning from the crisis to demonstrate the real value that health and wellbeing can add, changing it from being ‘nice to have’ to becoming an essential tool at the heart of businesses.”
There’s certainly been no better time to prioritise our workforce’s mental health.
Out of sight, out of mind?
It may be true that to some extent “Covid killed the sick day”, meaning that there is a worry that people are more likely to struggle on and still work, despite feeling ill, because they can, now that working from home has become normalised. It may be just as tempting for many of us to ‘battle on through’ a period of bad mental health, unacknowledged and, crucially, largely unseen.
With a significant number of people still working from home for at least part of their time, it’s more important than ever to check in with colleagues to make sure they are not becoming isolated. Feelings of isolation and a lack of connectedness to the community can contribute enormously to mental health issues.
We have talked previously about how to achieve the most important culture change of all and navigate the minefield that working from home or hybrid working may have become for the health and wellbeing of many of us.
Contact us today on World Mental Health Day to see how C.Co can assist with creating a culture change in your company for a happier and healthier workforce, leading to a more effective and efficient organisation and a more satisfied customer base.