October 10th was World Mental Health day. A day which is honoured globally to raise awareness for those suffering with mental health illnesses. It can affect anyone, of any age in a variety of different ways, from the minor issues to the completely debilitating and life changing.
According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), half of all mental illnesses begin at the age 14. Unfortunately, most of these cases go unacknowledged and untreated for a number of years. In some cases, it can take up to 10 years before sufferers seek treatment. Shocking figures show that suicide is the leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds.
Workplace stress can be another leading factor in the development of mental health illnesses. In the lead up to World Mental Health day, polkadotfrog recently surveyed a number of people regarding workplace wellbeing and the figures demonstrate that much more needs to be done. A staggering 86% of responses stated that they had felt overwhelmed/stressed at work and 59% answered they had called in sick to work because of mental health problems at some point in their career.
Prevention begins with education and understanding, yet 47% of people polkadotfrog surveyed said they had never spoken about the subject mental health at work. However, when the question about approaching management was asked, only 26% said they felt like they couldn’t speak to their line manager about their mental health. 67% said that they would, depending on the situation. These figures suggest that employees don’t feel entirely comfortable discussing the issue of mental health illnesses at work, but if they thought it was serious, they would speak to someone.
Communication really is key when it comes to the subject of mental health. Naturally everyone can experience ‘down days’, but if you consistently feel depressed, overwhelmed and stressed or even numb, seeking out someone you can talk to confidentially may help to ease the burden of suffering in silence.
polkadotfrog understands that taking care of staff mental well being should be a priority for all organisations. For more information and support on looking after your mental health both in and outside of work please head over to Mind.