Despite considerable improvements over the years in relation to attitudes to mental health many people continue to fear the “stigma” of revealing a mental health issue within their work environment.
One in Four
With one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem at any one time, it is a common occurrence which most of us will have to some degree at some point in our lives.
In the majority of cases the problem can be greatly improved through use of evidence based psychological treatments. The earlier problems are caught the better the outcome. Fear of repercussions at work can unfortunately result in staff avoiding seeking help at the point when they most need it. In the current economic climate they may feel resistance to seek appropriate help due to the fear of being negatively assessed within a competitive or uncertain employment environment.
There is also some variation in how men and women approach mental health issues both in and out of the work environment. Women are more likely for example to use their own social support networks to work through a problem or to seek professional help while men are more likely to keep an issue to themselves without seeking the help which could improve their situation. As they are less likely to share these feelings, this can add to their experience of isolation increasing the chances of stress, anxiety and depression. Being aware of this gender biased tendency can help men to increase their awareness and avoid these pitfalls.
Companies can help by providing support through EAP access for less severe issues and access to trained Clinical Psychologists for the more serious mental health issues. These include depression, extreme anxiety and PTSD where the need for therapy at an advanced skill level is required.
Copyright Dr Linda Gibson May 2017