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Who Helps the Helpers? By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 27 Sep, 2018 in Mental Health | Comments Off on Who Helps the Helpers? By Jane McNeice

Who Helps the Helpers? By Jane McNeice

As I’m sure is the case for a lot of our readers, we all come across various written quotes and affirmations, particularly in social media nowadays, and many of these largely pass us by, but then every so often there’s one that just captures us. In my own experience it can sometimes be even more than that, I feel completely moved, life changed by the shift in thinking that the quote creates for me. Sometimes I can relate to why, other times I don’t have this awareness, or at least not on a conscious level. One quote I’d like to share with you that I read at least a couple of years ago, and still sits in my photo files today, is this: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realising that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”  Now I’ve seen this quote attributed to various people, so can’t even be sure to whom the story belongs, or maybe in fact more than one caring person shared this sentiment and the story belongs to many mothers and children – John Lennon, Fred Rogers… Who it belongs to is largely irrelevant for me other than the more the merrier on this type of thinking, especially in times of need. What matters for me personally is how it made me feel on reading this, the reminder of hope. Hope is powerful, it can help to crush pain, disappointment and sadness into dust carried off on a breeze. Just when we think it’s gone hope rears its head, sometimes from what seems like nowhere – a thought, a person, the right words at the right time, a professional who offers kindness, compassion, support and understanding. Though media can often focus on the negative things that happen in the world e.g. people’s wrong-doings, there’s lots of helpers in society, some may be professionals some other helpers. Perhaps the only difference is our expectations placed upon the different types of helpers. With professionals we expect them to help. Maybe in your GP practice it doesn’t need to say Dr. Smith or Dr.Selim on the door, because we just interpret ‘Helper’. So these professional ‘Helpers’, who helps them when they become ill? The national mental health charity MIND, in a survey carried out in 2018, found that 2 in 5 GP’s have mental health difficulties and many would turn to colleagues for support. This makes a case for in the very least GP’s being trained in Mental Health First Aid, and or Suicide Prevention Training. Society can sometimes mistakenly presume all clinical professionals have a good understanding of mental health, and we learn first hand that this is often not the case. Brookes et al (2011) also say that mental ill health is common amongst doctors, and fast effective treatment is needed due to the occupational risks carried by this group in their work. Carrieri et al (2018) say, There is a need for approaches that are sensitive to the contextual complexities of mental ill-health...

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Suicide First Aid Launch, By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 26 Sep, 2018 in Mental Health | Comments Off on Suicide First Aid Launch, By Jane McNeice

Suicide First Aid Launch, By Jane McNeice

Mind Matters was delighted to attend the Launch of Suicide First Aid at The Oval in London today (26th September). The new course has been produced by the National Centre for Suicide Prevention Training UK and provides delegates with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to prevent suicide. This course is slightly different to the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) Training that Mind Matters currently offers. SFA is a one day course, but also comes with accreditation at Level 4 from City & Guilds, following completion of an associated workbook. The course compliments some of our other training courses e.g. one or two day Mental Health First Aid, or one day Higher Education MHFA. We’re very much looking forward to opportunities to bring this course to our customer base in the near future. The Launch had some great speakers including MHFA’s Director of Community Development, Caroline Hounsell, Connect Assist’s Executive Director, Rusty Livock, University College London’s Head of Wellbeing, Karen Smith, NCSPT UK’s Chief Executive, Nick Barnes, and the event was chaired by Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of the Centre for Mental Health. Speakers shared their current work and some of the reasons why them have come to do the work that they do, and their interests in Suicide First Aid. For most, if not all, they’ve been touched by mental ill health. I’ve often thought that those who make improving mental health their ‘life’s work’ have in some way been significantly touched by mental ill health, and I include myself in this – my own experiences, and that of my late brother and other family members – it’s a salient part of our frame of reference. Some of our passion comes from what we saw that was wrong e.g. improvements that could be made to services, or maybe championing the voice of patients. The Launch also provided the opportunity for us to once again hear the powerful suicide prevention story of Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE, which they shared at the MHFA Anniversary Conference last November. The story is one of hope that changed the lives of two men through a suicide prevention intervention. A story that Jonny Benjamin believes is taking place every day via ‘silent heroes’ in our society. Jonny and Neil have also now set up a charity called ‘Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma’ and also shared details about the amazing resource that is the ‘Hub of Hope’ A key part of the Launch was about how we create positive change around suicide prevention, and how we empower our networks to make changes. Discussion took place around influencing Government Ministers to make positive changes within mental health, particularly when we continually hear coverage of systemic failures in young people’s mental health, where young people in need have been unable to access mental health services such as CAMHS until they are in crisis e.g. suicide. The question was asked, “If a Minister was in front of us now, what would we say?” Having reflected on this question, I’d ask: What does Government see as an effective children and young people’s mental health service? What real and genuine financial commitment is being made to young people’s mental health services? What commitments are they making to Crisis Teams, so that they do have sufficient resources to support the needs of those in crisis? What are their commitments to early intervention in mental...

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Effective Therapy, By Hugh Macnab

Posted by on 9 Sep, 2018 in Mental Health | Comments Off on Effective Therapy, By Hugh Macnab

Effective Therapy, By Hugh Macnab

Effective therapy Itʼs probably seems obvious, but therapists only see people who will go to see them. That means that they are working with people who are already suffering from some form of distress – in other words, helpful as they may be at fixing the problem, they become involved only when itʼs already too late. Perhaps more people would seek help if therapy could be available when it was really needed – when the conditions which are causing the distress are active and the individual is struggling to cope – not later, sometimes months, years or even decades after the event. Carrying long-term results of distress represents not only a personal tragedy, but also a loss of potential in our society. Of course, most people are quite resilient and can cope with a great deal of stress in their lives, and with support and understanding from family and friends, still recover without the help of a therapist – they simply do not need a therapist to talk to on a daily basis in order to cope with life. But, there is a difference between stress and distress in that the latter can have longer-lasting effects which with a little help at the right time, can usually be avoided. Think of those who suffer from trauma in childhood who struggle through teenage years because of it. Or those who suffer stress at work on a regular daily basis and cannot avoid allowing this to affect family life at home. Or again, those who stay in an emotionally damaging relationship too long and find it hard to establish a healthy relationship afterwards. There are many different examples where people suffer the effects of a distressing event for far too long. While weʼre talking about whatʼs wrong with therapy, letʼs add a few more aspects. Talking to someone you donʼt know. Firstly, you have to talk to someone you donʼt know about things which are usually either quite painful, embarrassing or personal. While a therapist can offer an independent viewpoint, and often help with whatever is causing the distress, taking the step to go and ask for help may still too difficult for many. Waiting time for an appointment If waiting for NHS treatment, this can often be quite a few months which means that help is getting further away from when it is actually needed. People may even resolve their own difficulties before receiving treatment, or just become disheartened and give up waiting, preferring to ʻbattle-onʼ on their own. Others can afford to opt for private therapy, which is good for them – but what about those who canʼt? Choosing the ʻrightʼ therapy Good luck with this one. If you are working your way through the NHS waiting list, you will almost definitely find CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) waiting for you – which may or may not be best for you. If you are looking elsewhere, there are more forms of therapy on offer than you can count, and picking your way through this can be very off-putting for many. Even within the profession, there are many different views on how therapy actually works – so no surprise that many people finding the choice confusing. Choosing the ʻrightʼ therapist Choosing a therapist also can be very confusing, especially if you...

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Social Media & Mental Health, By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 2 Sep, 2018 in Mental Health | Comments Off on Social Media & Mental Health, By Jane McNeice

Social Media & Mental Health, By Jane McNeice

“Social media! Social media is the cause of their mental health problems.” A phrase I hear so frequently when I deliver mental health training, particularly when I deliver Youth MHFA courses. Few delegates tend to challenge the statement, most in agreement. This generates lots of thought for me. Firstly, is social media really the cause of mental ill health? And secondly, if it has any influence whatsoever, what is it about social media that is so bad? The world is changing, fast. One of the most significant changes in the last few decades has been the pace of technological change, in particular the growth of on-line media.  Select few are yet to be seduced by this technology – my own father who dips his toe in vicariously through my mother’s use – the majority of us are in to it hook, line, and sinker. A good portion of this on-line usage is social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and the likes. It’s these platforms that many delegates are suggesting cause mental ill health. So what exactly is it about the usage of these platforms that they think ‘causes’ mental ill health? The most common assertion is that by using them we are left thinking that everyone else’s life is great and ours deficient in some way. Be that our lifestyle, our appearance, or perhaps whether the food we ate today was of the best type, quality, and presentation. Let us take a step back in time 20 years, pre social media as we see it today. Terms such as ‘The Jones’s’ existed, with inferences that the so called ‘Jones’s’ had everything, and were perhaps viewed with some disdain. There have always been differences in lifestyles, appearances, wealth, class, always something capable of dividing the masses, or leaving one feeling inadequate. This takes me back to my academic days studying criminology and the fact that relative deprivation seemed to cause so much more criminality than absolute deprivation. This measure of where we are in comparison to the next man (or woman), but if we are experiencing equal deprivation, that’s just about tolerable. Today’s backdrop may have shifted somewhat, people perhaps having more fascination with wealth, appearance, lifestyle, and for some sadly an inability to discern the façade that much of this probably is. And maybe to question the self-esteem of those who present the façade. Is the shift that people now believe this is achievable for themselves but in the past wasn’t? Maybe the question is why and what are we aspiring to, and why not just to be? And what is it about this that could cause mental ill health? Social media being good or bad becomes very black and white, when in fact there’s a lot grey in between. Take the person who avidly uses platforms deemed more unhelpful to our mental health, maybe within this a newsfeed that is toxic to their mental health. This might include conflicts and acrimonious comment, lots of presentations of the ‘Jones’s’, and perhaps some abhorrent cruelty towards animals or treatment of others. Then take the person who doesn’t live close to their family or loved ones, social media is their life-line to support and connection. Maybe they are lonely and social media opens up a whole world of human...

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How to Improve Your Mood: 3 Simple Habits, By Sully Ali

Posted by on 24 May, 2018 in Mental Health | Comments Off on How to Improve Your Mood: 3 Simple Habits, By Sully Ali

How to Improve Your Mood: 3 Simple Habits, By Sully Ali

How to Improve Your Mood Right Now: 3 Simple Habits I sometimes write about how a good start to your day often leads to having a good day in general. A social, an energetic or a productive start sets the context for your day. But on some days you may not get a good start for some reason. Maybe you slept badly. Or the maybe grey skies and cold summer rain is dragging your energy down. Or you might have lost that positive momentum during a hard first part of the day and after lunch you feel tired, low or lost in a somewhat sad or uninspired funk. What to do then? Is that day lost and should you just aim for a better day tomorrow? Well, today isn’t over yet. Maybe you can still make something good out of it. Here’s how I do that by breaking the negative mood and getting a new start. Appreciate what you have. The simplest of my most commonly used pick-me-ups. I take about 2 minutes and sit in silence. I tell myself: OK, I might not feel so good right now, but what can I be grateful for and appreciate in my life? I usually come up with one simple thing like: My family. My health. That I have a roof over my head. That one thing opens up my mind. It redirects my thoughts from the negativity. Then I build upon that one thing. I make mental jumps from the roof, to the warmth in our home, to the clean water in the glass beside my laptop, to that I can work from home as the rain pours outside. I make those small mental leaps by just moving my attention around in the room I am in. Like skipping from stone to stone over a stream. And I take the time to slowly appreciate all those things. This changes my mood to a happier, warmer and more open one. Act as you would like to feel. Emotions work backwards too. So if I want to become more positive or enthusiastic then I act in the manner of a person who is positive or enthusiastic. I might not feel like it. But I do it as best as I can anyway. I may for example: Think of the task I have in front of me as something exciting and fun. Answer some emails or talk to someone in a positive and enthusiastic manner. Assume rapport if I feel unmotivated, negative or nervous before some kind of meeting (assuming rapport is to think to myself that I am meeting one of my best friends just before the meeting and that puts me in the right mood and headspace). Think for a minute and give someone a genuine compliment. Here’s a fun one I use quite often and that will not only lift my own mood. Spend 1 minute on coming up with something you really and genuinely appreciate about someone in your life that is in the same room as you at some point during the day. Then tell him or her the genuine compliment you have come up with. She or he will be happy. You’ll feel good about yourself and get positive feelings too from the now smiling, happy and complimented...

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Life can get Better… By Charlotte Underwood

Posted by on 23 Apr, 2018 in Mental Health | Comments Off on Life can get Better… By Charlotte Underwood

Life can get Better… By Charlotte Underwood

I used to hate it when people told me that I would be okay, that life would get better and time would heal because I simply did not believe it. I still now cringe when I hear or use those sayings myself in my case my life didn’t improve. I think I’ve always had some form of mental ill health. I remember being so different to others my age, people were so alien to me and the world was so horrid though my eyes. My mother claims my first suicide attempt was at four years old. I suppose I ignored my feelings because I didn’t know any better, mental health just wasn’t talked about when I was child so I did not know that there could be more to the thoughts in my mind. At 14 my life got hard, I call it ‘my trigger year’ because I became so angry and I lost track of who I was. I was drinking, smoking, self-harming and playing with people’s feelings; I was so reckless and so far from the sweet and kind girl who I truly am. Life did not get easier for a while, in a way it got worse as I became victim to many accounts of abuse and then lost my father to suicide at the age of 18. I felt so lost because I hated education, I wasn’t ready to work and I didn’t like being at home, I had nowhere to go. However, not long after I moved to a new home with the rest of my family, after my father’s death, I decided to make a change, to love myself more, and soon enough I met the man who would come to be my husband. My husband never forced me into anything and he never controlled me, he reminded me that not all people are bad and that I am allowed to trust people, as well as the fact that I deserve to be loved for my true self. Soon I no longer felt the need to smoke, or drink, or self-harm because I found myself less stressed for the first time in my life, I had been accepted. I just wish someone told me earlier that I was fine how I was, that my feelings were valid, love won’t fix all your problems but when someone listens to you and tries to understand, that can make the world of difference. Today I live in a home with my husband and his cat, as well as my soul mate that is the sweetest dog. My dog has become a bit of a support dog because she gives me purpose and a lot of love, our furry friends can heal us more than we know. Living in a home with my husband has allowed me to be rid of toxic situations and people, so that I can start to heal wounds. It’s also helped as I have learnt to be alone and less dependent on others, so I feel stronger. My mental health requires a lot of work to be able to keep my head above water. In honesty it is not easy but the hard work is paying off. I do have to take medication daily but I do not rely solely on it...

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Why we can’t afford to ignore Stress, By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 22 Apr, 2018 in Mental Health | Comments Off on Why we can’t afford to ignore Stress, By Jane McNeice

Why we can’t afford to ignore Stress, By Jane McNeice

April is Stress Awareness Month! Why we can’t ignore Stress Integral to all of our mental health training courses at Mind Matters is a focus on Stress. We see businesses who in fact want to focus solely on Stress, whether that is Stress prevention or Stress Management through programs like our Strengthening Personal Resilience training courses, or whether that’s our Mental Health First Aid training programs where we also give considerable time to understanding stress and its impact. So why is it so important that Stress isn’t overlooked when we look at mental health? Stress in it’s own right isn’t a psychiatric diagnosis (MIND, 2013), but Stress is the enemy, in fact Chris Bergland in Psychology Today, describes the stress hormone Cortisol as Public Enemy number one! The substantial evidence base around stress endorses that NO amount stress is good for us. A good proportion of people believe that a moderate amount of stress isn’t a problem and may in fact be good for us. However, leading academics such as Derek Mowbray describe stress is a catastrophic event, the point when we become ill or go off work sick. It’s understandable in today’s world that the concept has become somewhat wooly. Stress is a well used term among both adults and young people. It’s more a case that certain things, which to an extent mobilise us e.g. pressure, are instead being described as stress. And perhaps there is also an issue of semantics here. Most of us would agree that when we are in a state of stress, particularly chronic long term stress, we find our health deteriorates. We see immune system problems such as coughs, colds, and infections flaring up, and we drastically increase our risk of having an episode of poor mental health or developing mental health problems. These include problems such as anxiety, depression, and for some people stress may trigger episodes of psychosis and other problems. Likewise if we have physical health problems, recurring or otherwise, they too are likely to be triggered or exaccerbated. Most of us have an illness that flares up at these times. Worst still we also increase our risk of developing physical health problems. There is a real need in today’s society to acknowledge Stress, take steps towards preventing it where we can, and managing it where we can’t. Stress isn’t to be underestimated. April is Stress Awareness month, a full month to focus on Stress. There are lots of things workplaces and communities can do, and lots of things you can do as an individual to look after yourselves. Following are just a few suggestions and resources that can help: Our Strengthening Personal Resilience Training Programme Accessing and using the FREE resources available at the International Stress Management Association website Helping others to recognise that stress is not a badge of honor or proof that employees are working hard enough, it’s a huge risk for businesses Find out the true facts about stress at ISMA Follow best practices like the Charter for Wellbeing at Work developed by ISMA Access NHS Moodzone on How to Deal with Stress Check out Moodjuice and their Self-Help guide for Stress Make sure your employees know it’s okay not to be okay, and okay to talk about Stress and Mental ill health Make use of the HSE guidance on Stress and their template Stress Risk Assessment for workplaces Use the HSE...

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Accept responsibility – the key to better results and relationships, By Sully Ali

Posted by on 23 Feb, 2018 in Mental Health | Comments Off on Accept responsibility – the key to better results and relationships, By Sully Ali

Accept responsibility – the key to better results and relationships, By Sully Ali

things go wrong in life, it is easy to search for a scapegoat i.e. somebody to blame so that you do not have to accept responsibility for your outcomes. Blame is a very harmful attitude to adopt. Not only are you deflecting responsibility from yourself but you are damaging your relationships by suggesting that others are holding you back. You adopt a narrow focus whereby somebody else, or something else, is to blame. There is a major problem here as you cannot improve a situation unless you actually accept responsibility. The main reason that many people refuse to accept responsibility for their life is that they feel like they are blaming themselves – as though they deliberately screwed things up. That is an inaccurate reflection of what it actually means to accept responsibility for your life. When you accept responsibility for your life, you are simply identifying the areas where you can influence change, so that you might achieve a better outcome on the next occasion. You are not attacking anybody or anything; you are identifying and implementing potential solutions. Accepting responsibility is a more positive and effective approach than attributing blame. 5 Ways to accept responsibility When you accept responsibility in your life, you are acknowledging that no situation is permanent. You are simply saying that a situation is not going as you wish and, you are going to take charge and get it back on track. The following behaviours will enable you to accept responsibility for your life and avoid blaming others for your circumstances. 1. Focus on the Solutions rather than the problems If something is holding you back and preventing you from achieving your objectives, it is important to be able to identify the problem. The difference between those who overcome their problems and those who don’t is where they focus next. Those who fail to overcome their problems, focus on the problem. Those who succeed in overcoming their problems, accept responsibility for the situation, focus on identifying an appropriate solution and take the necessary action. Being solution-focused is a clear sign of those who accept responsibility. Focusing on the solution, rather than the problem, is not as easy as it might sound. If you are like me, when things go wrong, your first instinct is to get frustrated and irritated. In your head, you may even go through all the additional problems that this is going to cause for you. In my younger days, I would spend hours or even days, thinking about and, cursing the problem. This type of mindset has never solved a problem. These days, I usually allow myself to be frustrated for a moment or two, just to get it out of my system. Then I accept responsibility for solving the problem; even if I can’t work out what I did to contribute to it. I make a list of actions I can take to get things back on track and I start implementing those actions at the first opportunity. Key point It is ok to feel a little frustrated when things go wrong, as longs as you don’t take it out on others. Your feelings and emotions must be experienced but, you must let them flow and let them go so that you can accept responsibility for solving the...

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MHFA England Anniversary Conference: An Inspirational Day! By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 16 Nov, 2017 in Mental Health | Comments Off on MHFA England Anniversary Conference: An Inspirational Day! By Jane McNeice

MHFA England Anniversary Conference: An Inspirational Day! By Jane McNeice

Having suffered a couple of months of ‘bloggers block’ and not feeling inspired to write, I have today found the ink in my pen. I had what was an amazing day with other delegates celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England in Birmingham yesterday, and I now feel an overwhelming urge to write about my personal highlights and how inspired I feel to continue the work that is raising mental health literacy. The day was hosted by the lovely ITV news presenter Sameena Ali-Khan. Sameena did a fantastic job of presenting and capturing the stories that were shared. Arriving at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham, I started my day by visiting the market place of MHFA partners, including Place2Be, Street Games, Royal British Legion, and various others. I have to say my purse has taken a substantial hit following a visit to the on-line ‘Dept. Store for the Mind’ since I got home! The Mind Matters offices will look great with the new pictures depicting mental health and wellbeing, and I do hope my son-in-law appreciates his new tea towel – my daughter and son-in-law have an aversion to washing the pots so I thought the tea towel might provide some inspiration to them too. I then made my way for coffee and a saunter, at which point I spotted a familiar face in the crowd. I embarrassingly did the look, look away, look back, hope she doesn’t think I’m a stalker, shall I ask if it’s her, maybe not? After this stop start greeting I found that yes in fact it was the lovely Satveer Nijjar, which left me positively star struck, and for Satveer, perhaps a little put on the spot since she was trying desperately to eat her cake while I bumbled my excitement to her. As an instructor who delivers MHFA on a weekly basis, and who often uses Satveer’s film when covering the topic of self-harm, this was a long overdue meeting, and someone I had especially hoped would be at the conference. I’ve even had course delegates in the past who have met her prior to attending the MHFA training. At this point I thought my day had peaked, oh no, not even the start (sorry Satveer!). Poppy Jaman, feeling star struck again! This was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to meet this amazing lady in the 9 years that I’ve been delivering MHFA courses, and she completely fulfilled my expectations. It was fantastic to hear Poppy highlight how MHFA England started with humble surroundings, a small amount of staff capacity, and its growth into the movement that it has become today. What an inspiring lady and leader, and long may her work continue. After discussions with another instructor at my table during break about her new role as an Associate trainer, and talking about the opportunities this provides, I was then introduced to the inspiring narrative that is the story of Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn. Wow, the joining instructions didn’t say bring tissues! Reminding myself to breath several times whilst listening to their story, which again was very well interviewed by Sameena Ali-Khan, I felt positively reminded as to why the work we do as instructors is so valuable. During the story of how...

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Keep quiet and carry on – The silent menace in the nation’s offices, by DPG

Posted by on 26 Oct, 2017 in Mental Health | Comments Off on Keep quiet and carry on – The silent menace in the nation’s offices, by DPG

Keep quiet and carry on – The silent menace in the nation’s offices, by DPG

58% of UK wouldn’t be comfortable telling their manager about mental health issues. A shocking amount of UK workers have little faith in their employer’s ability to support issues such as mental health, stress and anxiety, a study by CIPD course providers, DPG Plc., has found. The study (which can be viewed in full here alongside a guide to creating a more inclusive workplace culture) found that a worrying 85% of UK workers thought that there was a stigma attached to mental health issues and stress in the workplace. This may be the root cause for the 58% that wouldn’t be comfortable telling their manager if they were suffering from a mental health issue. Compounding this is the finding that just 20% of UK workers thought their manager was fully equipped to support mental health, stress and anxiety issues in the workplace. More than a quarter of respondents (26%) had taken a day off work due to stress and mental health issues and lied about the reason. The findings highlight a disturbing culture that may be leaving vulnerable workers without the help they need, through fear of appearing weak. Paul Drew, managing director at DPG said “These findings highlight a need for change in the workplace, and an increase in how visible support in the workplace is. The problem is that, whilst the support networks may well exist, it seems they’re being drastically underused because people fear looking ineffective, weak or compromised.” According to mental health charity Mind’s resources*, “Ignoring the mental health of your staff comes at a high price. And will only make problems worse. Reduced productivity costs UK businesses up to £15.1 billion a year… [and] stress and other mental health problems are the second biggest cause of work absence, accounting for 70 million lost working days every year.” Paul Drew continues, “The nation has come a long way when it comes to creating an inclusive and supportive society, but there’s still work to be done. Managers need to create an atmosphere of trust and respect, so that workers are never scared or unable to reveal their issues. To do this, managers themselves need to be given the skills they need to tackle sensitive issues effectively and with tact – that comes from HR and leadership teams.” Key findings from DPG’s survey: 58% of UK workers wouldn’t be comfortable telling their manager if they were to suffer from a mental health issue. Only 20% thought their manager was fully equipped to support mental health issues in the workplace. 85% thought there was a stigma attached to mental health issues and stress in the workplace. More than a quarter (26%) had taken a day off work due to stress/mental health issues and lied about the reason.  Women were more likely tell their boss they had a different illness if they took a day off for stress/mental health issues. 18-24-year olds were the most likely to lie about the reason for needing time off in cases of stress and mental health. Ages 18-24 were also least comfortable telling their manager if they were to suffer from a mental health issue – most common reasoning was they worried about being judged. 45-54-year olds most comfortable revealing mental health issues to managers. Case studies: DPG surveyed their community, populated by...

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