This week is Mental Health Awareness Week.
It was marked yesterday by the Mental Health Minute – a special radio message broadcast simultaneously across hundreds of stations.
The minute-long message was headed by Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge and also featured famous voices such as Katy Perry and Stephen Fry.
It emphasised the importance of talking about mental health, and how everyone has the power to make a difference by listening to others.
Unfortunately, it looks like many employers could learn from this message.
According to Mental Health First Aid England, only 14% of 2,000 workers polled said they felt comfortable discussing their mental health worries at work, compared with 42% of workers who felt able to talk about physical conditions.
Only around a tenth of staff would feel comfortable having a conversation about serious mental health conditions such as psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or self-harm, versus nearly 40% who felt able to talk about cancer.
What’s needed is change to workplace culture.
Many people feel there is too much of a stigma attached to mental health issues. This can be changed through training and opening the subject up as something that can be discussed without fear of judgement.
Employers will also need to provide a place where such discussions can take place in confidence.
They will also need to know what to do, what advice and support to give, and where to point employees towards further help.
As a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England Instructor Member, BounceBack can offer a two-day course to help build this level of awareness.
It is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health, and involves a mixture of group activities, presentations and discussions.
Overall, it will help you to build a safe, healthy workplace.
Learn more about our MHFA course here.