Mental Health Awareness
Why It Matters!
"I got my first official diagnosis in 2010, and a few others since then. Each of them different, each with their own "quirks", which I've learnt to manage pretty well.
But everyone is different. One persons' good day is another persons' nightmare.
I try to be as open as possible about my challenges & triumphs to help normalize that it's ok to not be ok, you are not alone, and that there is help out there."
Head of Marketing + Development
Swift team member since 2020
To learn more, click below...
Physical injuries are direct physical harm or damage to the body that can be diagnosed and treated by medical professionals using physical examinations, imaging tests, and medical procedures. Physical injuries typically result from a specific event or accident, such as a fall, car crash, or other injury.
Trauma triggers, on the other hand, are reminders of a past traumatic experience that can cause an intense emotional and/or physical reaction. These reminders can be internal, such as a thought or memory, or external, such as a sound, smell, or sight that is similar to what was experienced during the traumatic event (like mentioned above). When someone experiences a trigger, it can bring back memories, feelings and/or reactions associated with the traumatic experience and can cause them to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or scared, or to react in the way they did in that moment.
In short, physical injuries are direct physical harm to the body that can be diagnosed and treated medically, while trauma triggers are psychological responses to reminders of past trauma that require therapeutic treatment and support.
Getting a professional diagnosis for a possible mental health issue is important for several reasons:
1. Accurate diagnosis: Mental health professionals have the expertise to properly diagnose mental health conditions. Accurate diagnosis is important for the creation of an appropriate treatment plan.
2. Effective treatment: Effective treatment plans are bespoke to each individual, and take into account as many variables as possible to ensure it is as effective as possible.
3. Validation: Receiving a professional diagnosis can help validate a person's experiences and provide them with a sense of relief and understanding.
4. Support and resources: A professional diagnosis can help the person access resources and support, such as therapy, medication, and support groups.
5. Avoid misdiagnosis or self-diagnosis: Without a professional diagnosis, there is a risk of misdiagnosis or self-diagnosis, which can result in ineffective, potentially harmful treatments or exacerbation of actual mental health issues.
Good Days vs Bad Days
People with mental health issues, like anyone else, can have good days and bad days. Mental health issues can be complex and can impact people in different ways, making it difficult to predict how someone might feel or behave on a given day.
On a good day, someone with mental health issues may feel more hopeful, motivated, and positive. They may be able to manage their symptoms more effectively, engage in activities they enjoy, and feel more connected to others. They may also feel a greater sense of control over their mental health and well-being.
On a bad day, someone with mental health issues may experience more intense symptoms, such as feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness. They may struggle to engage in daily activities or experience difficulty focusing or making decisions. They may also feel more isolated or disconnected from others and have a harder time managing their emotions.
It's important to note that good days and bad days can be unpredictable and may not necessarily be related to any particular event or situation. Mental health issues can be affected by a wide range of factors, including genetics, environment, and life experiences, which can make it difficult to control or predict how someone might feel on a given day.
It's also important to be understanding and supportive of someone with mental health issues, regardless of whether they are having a good day or a bad day. Offer your support and encouragement, and let them know that you are there for them no matter what.
Supporting someone with mental health issues can be challenging, but there are several basic things you can do to help:
1. Listen: One of the most important things you can do is to simply listen to the person and validate their feelings. Let them know that you are there for them and that you care about their well-being.
2. Be non-judgmental: It's important to avoid judging or criticizing the person for their feelings or behaviors. Instead, try to be understanding and supportive.
3. Educate yourself: Learn about the person's mental health condition and what they may be going through. This can help you understand their individual experiences and provide more effective support.
4. Encourage treatment: Encourage the person to seek professional help from a mental health provider. Offer to help them find resources or accompany them to appointments if needed.
5. Offer practical support: Offer to help the person with practical tasks, such as grocery shopping or cleaning, if they are struggling to manage these on their own.
6. Take care of yourself: Supporting someone with mental health issues can be emotionally taxing, so it's important to take care of yourself as well. Make sure you have support and resources available to you, such as talking to a trusted friend or seeking counseling.
Remember that supporting someone with mental health issues is a process and may take time. Be patient and continue to offer your support and encouragement.
Different Generations Process Differently
Older and younger generations may differ in the way they seek support and cope with psychological trauma.
In general, older generations may rely more on family and community support networks to cope with trauma. This is because, in the past, mental health was not talked about as openly as it is today, and there were fewer professional mental health services available. As a result, older generations may be more likely to turn to family members, friends, or religious institutions for support.
On the other hand, younger generations may be more likely to seek professional help from mental health providers. This may be due to increased awareness of mental health issues and more accessible mental health services. Younger generations may also be more comfortable seeking help from professionals, as there is less stigma associated with mental health issues today than in the past.
Another factor that may influence how different generations seek support is cultural background. For example, in some cultures, seeking help from mental health professionals is viewed as a sign of weakness, and individuals may be more likely to rely on family or spiritual leaders for support.
It's important to note that these are generalizations, and individuals from different generations and cultural backgrounds may seek support in a variety of ways. What's most important is that individuals receive the support and treatment they need to cope with the effects of psychological trauma. If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of trauma, it's important to seek help from a mental health professional.
Best Practice to Support Your Employee
As a manager, supporting an employee with mental health issues involves creating a safe and supportive work environment where the employee feels comfortable seeking help and accommodation. Here are some best practices for supporting employees with mental health issues:
1. Foster open communication: Encourage open and honest communication between you and your employees. Create a safe and supportive environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns and struggles with mental health.
2. Provide resources: Provide information about resources that are available, such as employee assistance programs, mental health hotlines, or mental health resources in the community. This can help employees find the help they need and feel supported.
3. Be flexible: Be flexible and accommodating with employees who may need extra support or accommodations to manage their mental health. This may include flexible work hours, remote work options, or modified work duties.
4. Educate yourself and your team: Educate yourself and your team about mental health issues and how they can affect employees. This can help reduce stigma and promote a more supportive work environment.
5. Check in regularly: Check in regularly with employees to see how they're doing and if they need any support. This can help employees feel valued and supported.
6. Keep confidentiality: Respect employee privacy and maintain confidentiality about their mental health issues, as required by law.
Overall, supporting employees with mental health issues involves creating a culture of openness, empathy, and support in the workplace. By providing resources, accommodations, and a supportive environment, managers can help employees manage their mental health and thrive in the workplace.
Separation of Work & home
It can be harder for people with mental health issues to separate home life and work life for several reasons:
1. Lack of boundaries: People with mental health issues may struggle to establish clear boundaries between their personal life and work life, which can make it difficult to switch off from work and focus on self-care.
2. Difficulty managing stress: Mental health issues can make it harder for people to manage stress and anxiety, which can spill over into other areas of their life, including their work.
3. Stigma and discrimination: People with mental health issues may fear discrimination or stigma in the workplace, which can make it harder for them to open up about their condition and seek support.
4. Work-related triggers: Work-related triggers, such as high-pressure deadlines, conflict with colleagues, or a toxic work environment, can exacerbate symptoms of mental health issues, making it harder to maintain a work-life balance.
5. Difficulty concentrating: Certain mental health conditions can make it harder for people to concentrate or focus on tasks, which can make it harder to be productive and efficient at work.
Overall, managing work and home life can be a challenge for anyone, but for people with mental health issues, it can be particularly difficult. It's important for employers and colleagues to be understanding and supportive, and for people with mental health issues to prioritize self-care and establish clear boundaries to help maintain a healthy work-life balance.