Is Mental Health in work a taboo for you?

Date posted:
Mon 07 October 2019

As part of our #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek social campaign Kim Rutherford from Dalton Wise has written a series of brilliant blogs discussing mental health and stress in the workplace.

Is Mental Health in work a taboo for you?

Do you think it’s possible to open in work about your mental health and still be respected, still get the same opportunities for promotion and progression?

I’ve seen this topic talked about often over the last few weeks, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it please. True thoughts from both employees and business owners and managers please.

Obviously, I always advocate being open and honest about mental health , especially in work, as that is where many of us spend most of our week. We all know that work naturally creates pressure on individuals, and from this mental health problems can occur. I also know that mental health issues are as important as any other health issue, they cannot, and should not be ignored. I know you know this too.

But knowing something and being able to act upon it can be very difficult, especially when it comes to mental health and work. As a result, many of us ignore our mental health issues in work. Many of us are suffering in silence day after day in the hope that we don’t rock the boat and we keep that job and get the promotion.

But here’s the thing, the law is on your side - legally employers should support workers in their health issues – and yes that includes mental health issues too. But does this necessarily translate to action?

  • Stress at work is a real issue – stress because there are less people to do a job now, so individuals are tasked with more and more responsibility than ever before.
  • Stress because no job is “safe,” and many bosses like to hold job safety over employees’ heads.
  • Stress if you are a working mum. Oh, let’s be honest here - I could list the reasons why work can give you stress all day.

I can talk about the types of ongoing stress that causes mental health issues in work forever – everybody knows about it, lots of people suffer from it, so why the fuck is it still considered a taboo issue?

More and more people are talking about mental health and how to tackle it – which is great. And yes, more and more companies are taking the mental health and wellbeing of their staff seriously. But we are still at the start of changing people’s minds – and while a big company might have a policy in place to protect and support employees in their mental health - does this translate to the middle management, you know, the middle management people who are ultimately in charge of decisions when hiring, firing and promotions.

So yes, I want to hear from you. I want to know if you would or you wouldn’t open in work about your mental health. Or perhaps you have already - what type of response did you get? Let’s get the conversation going between us.

If you need a safe space to just start to open, let this be it. If you want to talk to me privately offline that’s okay too – I’m here to listen.