Sometimes you want to handle things on your own and don’t want to let everyone know how you’re feeling; however, it is important to inform your workplace on any disorders or negative feelings you have. 2019 has been the year for mental health awareness and at a time like this, many organisations are coming up with strategies to better the workplace environment and be more ‘hands-on.
Find out and understand what your workplace has to order and make use of opportunities. If you have an intranet that offers well-being information, workshops, blogs, find out more. Some workplaces do mental health weeks which including inviting animals in (mainly dogs), social events, yoga, guest speakers and more.
Contact occupational health and get advice. Sometimes people are scared to speak to occupation health because it seems like a cry for help and people get worried that information might get back to their work colleagues or supervisor, however, occupation health is confidential, qualified and the majority of the time outsourced, therefore not directly part of your company. Ask them what could be done personally and professionally to support you whilst you’re working.
Mental health first aiders. As mentioned previously, my last job offered ‘Mental Health At Work First Aid’ as a course, whether you work with youths or adults (If you would like further information, please find me a message). These courses are different durations but I did the 1-day course and it is the most beneficial course I have ever done. If you are not coping or need further support whilst at work, go to the mental health first aider on shift. Bear in mind this is fairly new, so your workplace might not be at this stage yet, however, there’s no harm in showing your manager or training team this information and requesting for the course to be looked into. The course touches on a range of disorders, how to communicate with people and looks at a range of perspectives. Mental health first aiders are not professionals, which is sometimes a good thing depending on the person who needs the support. Sometimes its ideal to have a friendly face they can listen to you from time to time.
So taking this into account, don’t ever feel like you have to suffer in silence or have nowhere to turn. There is always help and there is always a variety which means of going to the well-being page on the work intranet doesn’t work, maybe talking to a colleague will.
At work, it is so easy to stay in your own bubble or to stay close in a tight ‘work squad’ and forget about other people. Do you ever take time to think about the people around you?
That person you think is being a ‘bitch’ or that person who’s always negative or quiet might be going through something whether in their personal or professional life. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost you anything to ask that person if they’re ok or if they might want to join you for lunch sometime. People always think what if and think they could have done more when it is too late. If you see signs that someone isn’t doing well, don’t stand back and wonder, step in and ask. A common sign would be a change in behaviour or someone becoming standoffish. Another common sign could be someone who is usually loud or constantly talking as that could be a coping mechanism; a way of taking their mind of what is happening in their life. People who suffer from mental health or have difficulties may keep things hidden especially at work. If you are someone who is not comfortable approaching someone that you don’t know, you can send them information via email of any mental health awareness news, posts or events that are coming up at work.
Once I graduated from Uni I went straight into office work. Like a typical graduate, I went straight into recruitment but I wasn’t on the phones thankfully, I was interviewing potential candidates. I had studied in a Hotel School so did back office work but being in an actual office environment was new to me and at the time I wasn’t that bothered about working at a desk all day. Being from a Hotel background I was used to being constantly on my feet, then going out with friends until 4 am.
It was my first job, straight out of Uni, working in busy Soho; I would go to work, socialise with friends on weekdays, work was never a barrier for me. At Uni I was so determined to get into Learning & Development so I always assumed office life would be it for me and no professionals at Uni told me otherwise.
Over the years I continued with office work. I began to realise office work wasn’t for me; I’ve gone from running around Hotels and working in Hospitality to now sitting behind a computer. In the office roles I’ve had, I never felt challenged and I always got through probation and all the tasks quicker than expected and I’m someone who needs to be kept on their toes. In all roles I’ve made good people, some I now consider as friends but being in my mid 20’s, working in an office is something I just can’t comprehend doing for the rest of my life.
I may have left Uni in 2015 but I’ve continued studying ever since to stand out in the world of Learning & Development but as I realised I had enough of office work, I started looking at other ways of accomplishing this goal. I wanted to be a trainer; hence why I went to a training school however I, unfortunately, fell into the corporate world.
After 4 years in an office environment, feeling unappreciated, depressed and overall in a dead-end environment I knew it was time for me to step away from the desk. I took time off (a month) to find what I wanted to do. Now…I’m a trainer and I don’t work in an office. Every day for me now is different and it’s honestly the first job I can honestly say I enjoy. I’ve found peace; I’m happier and I don’t miss sitting in an office, in fact, I can’t imagine going back to an office environment just yet. I like to keep motivated and keep my mind active but in the office, I felt like I was losing brain cells. I’ll soon return to office work for financial and career development but I would advise everyone to take time away from the office and try a new method.
Every role has its problems and everyone has days when we’d rather stay in bed but we spend nearly our whole lives working, so find your passion and a job that’s worth getting up and going to.