Mental Health Awareness
It has been recently publicised that sadly, the Love Island 2017 contestant, Mike Thalassitis took his own life in the park he used to play in as a child, in London on Saturday morning, according to a police report. There are many people reaching out to him and his family on social media and it made me think; could he have been helped? What were the signs? Did people pick up on it but believe he was coping with things in his own way? Did people feel too embarrassed to ask him if he needed help? There really is no way to tell.
It goes to show, that, unfortunately, we do not know what people are going through in their lives and we definitely don’t know what is happening behind closed doors, let alone what is going on in their minds. So how does this translate into the workplace?
If you work in an office with the same people day in, day out, it is probable that you may spend more time with them than you do with your loved ones. But how much do you know them? Probably better than you think. Even if you don’t speak to all of your colleagues daily, their attitudes and demeanour is hard to ignore. If you notice any changes in your colleagues’ behaviours, don’t be embarrassed to ask them if they are okay.
But whatever you do, don’t ignore it.
If you feel that you aren’t equipped to speak with your colleagues about how they are doing, speak with your HR team or line manager about having a team-member trained on dealing with mental health in the workplace.
Mental health is a serious subject and shouldn’t be swept under the carpet just because it may make people feel uncomfortable. We need to erase the perceptions of mental health equalling weakness and instead, replace it with awareness, education and openness.
It is just such a shame that it takes this extreme for it to be publicised and spoken about in the media. Let’s help stop the stigma.