Monthly Archives

September 2016

Mental health and the workplace

Over 50 per cent of adults in the UK said they would not hire someone with depression, even if they were the best candidate for the job.

Our worplace is often a miniature version of our society. While our society is making great progress in the awareness of mental health in our everyday lives there is still more we can do in raising that awareness. We are becoming more aware of the stigma associated with having mental health problems. That’s a great thing. There is still something akin to stigma though, in that people still make too many wrong assumptions about people with mental health problems in the workplace.

Too often people assume – and assume wrongly – that someone with a mental health problem is not able to perform their duties. Some go as far as assume that if someone has mental health problems they are not able to cope at work at all. That alarming statistic that more than half of the people surveyed said they would not hire someone with depression testifies to that.

With Mental Health Week taking place next month, it is a great time to spread the word that mental health problems are not sign of weakness. The everyday stresses and pressures of the workplace often make us more determined to succeed in our work and our businesses. Employees and employers alike face stress and physical and mental exertion everyday. That can be a situation where they risk developing mental health problems such as depression, ‘burnout’ and other conditions.

So the awareness of mental health in the workplace is an important issue. Looking after yourself and answering that others in the workplace have the opportunity to look after their mental is a step towards prevention of mental health problems.

Stress? Stay calm to beat stress

Feeling some stress? It might seem a little silly to suggest that staying calm is one of the better ways to stay calm but, after all, staying calm is the best way to beat stress. That is basically it.

We all suffer from stress. It it just one of those facts of life. If you feel that your life is one big stressful thing after another, you are not alone. So many others get those feelings too but only a few people do anything to try and overcome it.

One of the things people do is face their stress calmly. What we mean by that is, they take a look at what it is that is stressing them. If it is something that returns time and again and brings stress each time, they try something new to deal with it.

Instead of falling back on old ways of reacting to the stress or letting it get a hold of them, they try something different. That can be something as simple as taking a walk. Getting out and getting some exercise while you are at it. Looking around, window shopping, looking at the sky, the streets, the cars that whizz by, the birds flying overhead. The diversion created by the new sights and sounds can change our thinking patterns.  And that is all it takes.
Using something simple like that can be a start to developing ways in our minds of overcoming those stressors. Learning ways of not letting stress get the better of us is a great skill to develop and there are many simple ways of teaching yourself them. They don’t need to be super strategies, just easy routines that can make a great difference to dealing with stress.

Business and mental health awareness

Mental health problems are a sad fact of our daily business today. In Australia, one in five people are likely to experience a mental health problem at some stage in their life. Awareness of mental health issues and the importance of taking care of ourselves if we are affected by them is improving. There is also a change for the better in attitudes toward having mental health problems. But sometimes there are still important issues around mental health that we better need to understand.

Many people can not unaware they might have a mental health problem. Sometimes even health professionals can have them but, because of the misconception that people in the health professions don’t get them, they can go unnoticed.

People in all walks of life and all professions can be effected by them. Everyone gets stressed, everyone can feel overwhelmed by work, family and other issues, but think it is not a mental health problem. That can be the way it goes unnoticed, even by people who know about such things. What often happens is, that business must go on at all costs. That is more important.

That can often be the case with the millions of small business owners in Australia. Like a health professional with their practice, a small business faces the same issues. Research shows that small business owners are among the most likely to be affected by mental health problems. If the owners don’t realise they may have a mental health problem and take steps to look after themselves and address the problems, their businesses suffer. Sometimes people take a short-term approach to wellness. That can be an OK thing but ‘papering over cracks and making do’ is not. At Retreat South we understand the need to keep going but our approach is to help all our clients build better coping mechanisms so that they can best deal with the everyday pressures of life.

Procrastination is putting off wellness

There should be no reason to put off doing something about procrastination. We all know the old saying “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today”.

Nearly everybody admits to procrastinating at some time or even a lot of the time. Sometimes procrastination can be the result of a mental health problem. Depression is sadly one of the most common mental health problems we face these days. When a person experiences depression it can sometimes be in a way that makes them unable to do anything or have no interest in any activities. Depression can also bring feelings of helplessness too, so any activities seem pointless.

Procrastinating over taking some action to improve our mental health is another instance when putting things off is unhelpful. Sometimes it is a simple as finding it difficult to admit to having a having a problem. But depression and other mental health problems are becoming better understood and the stigma surrounding acknowledging that we may have them is is lessening. Procrastinating might be sign of not wanting to take the first step toward action. At Retreat South, making you as comfortable and welcome as possible is our goal. Helping you towards taking that first step is as important to us as every other step you take on the path to recovery.