Maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it…but you just don’t feel “right”

You are not alone

Maybe you can't quite put your finger on it, but you’re just not feeling right.

You might be feeling tired more often, maybe you’re drinking too much, you’re more emotional or you just might not want to do the things that you usually enjoy.
Struggling to cope with everyday life doesn’t look or feel the same in everyone. We can’t generalise about how it'll make you feel or act.

You’re not alone…so let's talk about it during Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond.

  • One in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year
  • In 2017 the overall cost of mental health problems to UK employers was almost £35 billion
  • Three out of five employees experience mental health issues because of work
  • 84% of managers accept that employee wellbeing is their responsibility but less than a quarter (24%) of managers have received any training in mental health.

If life is getting you down, there are some practical things that may help:

  • You’re not alone in feeling like this. Many people struggle to cope at some stage and experiencing a range of emotions during this time is common
  • When people feel like this they often feel very alone. Even if you don’t have family or friends close by, you are never alone. Speak to your occupational health provider, your GP or contact the Samaritans on 116 123. They’re available24/7/365 and they’ll listen
  • These feelings may not last forever. By talking you may put things into perspective and start to feel more positive about the future
  • Try to identify what is making you feel this way and see if there is something constructive you can do to change it.

There are lots of things you can do to help yourself:

  • Make time for yourself, relax and do things you enjoy
  • Eat healthily; get plenty of sleep and exercise
  • Spend time with people you love
  • Talk about your problems with people you trust
  • Be proud of what you’re good at, as well as aware of what you struggle with
  • Pay attention to what you’re feeling.

Try the mental health quiz – how much do you know?

Listen up – let’s talk about mental health

The simplest action we can take when things are getting to us and impacting our mental wellbeing is to talk – but the continued stigma attached to the subject means that many people keep worries about their mental health to themselves. Having a mental health problem doesn’t mean someone is unable to work; we probably all work with someone who is experiencing a mental health issue.

How to talk about mental health at work

Employee tips: If you are going to approach your employer/manager, consider:

  • When is a good time to talk?
  • How much information you want to give?
  • Who you want the information shared with?
  • What impact your mental health is having on your work?
  • Focusing on what you need to continue to do your job
  • Asking for regular feedback and reviews.

What can colleagues do to help?

The people we work with play a vital role in our everyday lives. When people can talk about any issues they are facing, potential mental-health problems can be identified and addressed sooner.

Five ways to support your colleagues

  • Be approachable
  • Show you care
  • Encourage them to talk
  • Listen to what they say
  • Direct them to  available support.

Dos and don’ts in talking about mental health

Do

  • Let the person know you are there if they want to talk
  • Keep it private – respect a confidence
  • Make sure you have time to talk
  • Be empathic rather than sympathetic
  • Let the person share as much or little as they want
  • Ask open questions to help you to understand
  • Ask how they would like you to help them
  • Reassure the person that you will do your best to help
  • Make a plan and review regularly.

Don’t

  • Tell someone to pull themselves together – if they could, they would have by now
  • Diagnose or second-guess someone’s feelings
  • Be judgmental or make assumptions
  • Grill anyone by peppering them with quick-fire questions
  • Talk over someone about your own or anyone else’s experiences
  • Tell someone what to do.

There are some great videos too

  • The last word
  • Living with a black dog
  • Same Story Short
  • Mental Health at Work .

Sources: Mates in Mind, Samaritans, Mental Health at Work, BITC, MIND, Centre for Mental Health.