Mental Health in the Workplace
Posted on 4th November 2019
At MG Legal, your Local Lancaster Family Solicitors, over the past years we have seen an increase in our cases in which one or more of our clients are suffering with a mental health illness. In fact approximately 1 in 4 people will suffer with a mental health illness throughout their life.
But how can you spot the signs of diminishing mental health in your friends/colleagues/family or even yourself and how can you support them?
Firstly, everyone is different, some hide things better than others and some are more open about their struggles.
As Local Family Solicitors we would advise that the following signs are looked out for:-
1. Attendance: has the attendance of a staff member or colleague dropped? Speaking as someone that suffers with mental health, the writer would personally say that getting out of bed is one of the biggest challenges of the day, not because they are lazy, but because of the feeling that as soon as your feet touch the ground they’ll shatter from the weight of their problems, the moment you wake up and face the outside world the problems begin and this for some can be too much to bear. Are they staying in bed more than usual? Cancelling plans?
2. Mood: does their mood’s change drastically throughout the working week? Maybe they're over hyper, or maybe they’re suddenly quiet, or maybe they're changing the office around in a bid to clear their own mind. Have they gone from laughing and joking, to barely speaking a word?
3. Appetite: for some they might suddenly not want to eat. This might be too much of an effort for them, or for others they might start eating more than usual as a way to deal with their emotions. Essentially any major change in their diet should be noted.
4. Appearance: again the writer would say that when they are struggling with an episode, their appearance no longer matters as opposed to when they are “well”, looking professional, clean and smelling of their favourite perfume with their favourite red lippy is a must. However when struggling they can often be found in baggy clothes, no makeup and unwashed hair.
5. Work: on a good day, the writer will take on any task, churning out their work and happily learning along the way. However on a unwell day, things don’t sink in. No matter how hard they read what’s in front of them or how many times they ask things don’t sink in.
With the number of people being diagnosed with a mental illness increasing on daily basis, it is inevitable that you will come across someone struggling with a mental health illness, as Lancaster solicitor we have so how can you support them and should you shouldn’t do?
Firstly, do not compare your problems to theirs. Please do not tell them you have your own stuff going on and you are dealing with that, that yours and other people situations are worse than those, they are more than aware everyone has issues, by belittling their illness this can worsen the situation and mean there are less likely to want to approach you when they are struggling.
Ask them if they are okay. A simple question that takes two seconds to ask can save lives. Assuring them that you are there to help and they are not alone can go a lot further than you think. Sometimes a small gesture such a making a cup of tea can go a long way; weirdly it helps the person to know they are not alone, and if they can find the strength to talk, people will listen.
Educate yourself, mental health is more complex than you think it not always obvious. This is not a “phrase” but yes with the right help and support it will pass, patience must be practised, remember they are not doing this for attention, or as an excuse to get out of work.
Find local support networks in case the need arises. Samaritans are the main one, but there are many different support networks available such as START, hospitals and doctors or the crisis team.
Our own personal experience with mental has allowed us as your local Lancaster Family Solicitors to practise care and compassion when dealing when client’s dealing with mental health issues. We pride ourselves on offering support to all our client and staff and not victimising anyone. Be assured that should you be experiencing a family matter that is affecting your mental health, then we, your Family Solicitors in Lancaster, are here to offer a helping hand to ease the burden and sort matters for you. So please do not hesitate to contact us on 01524 581306 or pop into our Lancaster branch. It’s our job to help you sort family matters, and no one should have to suffer in silence.
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors
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