One of my goals is to literally teach businesses about mental health and challenge them on their approach. I’ve seen it time and time again people going on long term sick because of unfair treatment, workplace bullying and just poor management. I’m one of them thats been victim to this, luckily I came out the other side, but for some their story just doesn’t end that way.
I can only talk about it from an anxiety point of view but there are certainly things that can be done for other people too. Treat mental health just like you would a physical disability. You shouldn’t have to lie about it on an application form because your too afraid of what people might think or even worse, they turn you down because of it. It should be encouraged to show support and diversity. Stamp out stigma is what this world needs. #SOS
If businesses were to just understand it they would save themselves so much money from long term sickness and employment tribunals. Generation Y, I’m counting on us to change things.
Having a workplace mentor that actually have the skills to provide support and a friendly face in a strange environment can go along way. When your an anxious person, starting a new job can be really hard. People still want to work and I don’t think they should be discouraged just because they suffer from anxiety.
Flexible working hours, anxiety can bring a whole range of symptoms that need to be managed. Having hours that can be worked to the persons needs can make a huge difference. You would probably find that they will work normal hours 90% of the time, but if they have a bad week and struggle to get up, knowing they can lay in a bit longer or go to the gym to work it off can have a big impact and I’m sure productivity and loyalty will rise along with a happy envirnonment = thriving business.
Bullies, I hate them, you don’t just get them in schools. Funnily enough you would think these people are managed, nope, no there not. The victim is generally punished, it’s all backwards and makes no sense to me. Just creates a shameful culture, toxic environment and high staff turnover = a lot of money lost when you can prevent this from happening. I’ve learnt we live in a world where it’s okay to be like that, but if you show any sign of weakness, that’s not okay and that will punished, but I guess it must be easy to manage the “weak or vulnerable” (roll eyes). With mental health on the rise, long term sickness rates will rise and the bullies will remain. But that can change, doesn’t have to stay that way.
Talk to the employee, ask if there are any adjustments or things that can be put in place to help them, make them more comfortable. It really is that simple, it instantly puts the anxiety at ease and opens a window of opportunity. It shows the employee that it’s okay to talk about it, which will make them want to come to work in the morning, they won’t feel nervous or embarrassed, it will feel more accepted and encouraged. That question could have made all the difference, it shows understanding, flexibility and you might find there is nothing to change.
Some businesses I’m sure have it right but I’m yet to find them, others are just under too much pressure and don’t have the financial abilities. Which is why businesses would probably read this and think, it just isn’t that easy. Well, if you don’t try different strategies how will you ever know? If you continue like you always have, then your always get the same result, you need change to make a difference, doesn’t matter how big or small, it can be done, you just have to want it.
Everyone has dreams, mine would be to have my own business, encourage people to declare their mental health and I would prove if you put the right things in place, you have yourself an honest, hard working and loyal employee! #SOS
Until next time!