Tuesday 10th October was World Mental Health Day, and this year marked a special landmark anniversary. First held in 1992, it was the 25th year of dedicating a day to raising awareness of mental health issues, and to fighting the stigmas surrounding it.
A huge struggle for mental health, particularly in the UK, is that once people do decide to seek help, it is an ongoing difficulty to ensure they are seen and looked after quickly due to funding.
The government definitely have a responsibility to provide funding for mental health services however there are other contributing factors as to why there are long waiting times to be seen etc. The more we raise awareness for mental health illnesses and encourage people to talk about it, the more people will seek help which is amazing, however that then strains our services even more. The sheer large scale of the problem is a factor in itself. The reality is that one in four adults will experience a mental illness at some point each year in the UK.
Our NHS services are fortunate enough to have some of the most well trained and devoted therapists in the world who continue to make a profound difference to the lives of people using their services. And I certainly salute them, as being treated myself, and my mother, they are some of the best and deserve the utmost recognition.
This years theme of World Mental Health Day is Workplace Wellbeing. I believe this is really important to explore as nearly 15% of people experience mental health problems in the workplace. Almost 13% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions. Better mental health support in workplaces could save £8 billion a year for UK businesses.
- 1 in 6 people in the last week experienced a common mental health problem. - 7.8% of people in Britain meet the criteria for the diagnosis of anxiety and depression.
- Between 4 and 10% of people will experience depression in their lifetime.
- Mixed anxiety and depression have been estimated to cause one-fifth of days lost from work in the country.
- One person in fifteen has made a suicide attempt at some point in their life.
- Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20 to 49 in England and Wales.
- 75% of the suicides in Great Britain in 2016 were male.
I feel extremely lucky to be in a workplace that care and look after their employees. SARD’s philosophy and ethos is to keep us safe and happy, and I have never felt let down by them. However we can all educate ourselves more on Workplace Wellbeing, and how to keep ourselves calm and relaxed and our mental health positive in and out of the workplace.
We can help by educating ourselves on mental health illnesses, by challenging our attitudes to mental health issues when we come across them, by easing burdens for one another and being tolerant and understanding in the workplace and at home. What could seem like a small task to you, may be a huge challenge for somebody fighting a mental health illness.
I truly believe in being kind to one another, the smallest things can change and affect somebodys day, so love one another, be kind, and supportive always. Knowing you aren’t alone can help someone greatly; it will be a hard road ahead and a difficult task to get those statistics surrounding mental health lowered, however if we stand together and stand strong, we will get there together.