HSE International ISSUE 109 - Page 28

MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING FOCUS MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING FOCUS Mental health in the workplace was the theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, which took place on Tuesday 10 October. T he term ‘Mental Health’ includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. According to the NHS, one person in four will be affected by a mental or neurological illness at some point in their life. Mental Health Foundation research states that anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders both in Britain and worldwide, with approximately 450 million people currently suffering with mental health problems. Mental ill health can have a profound impact on the lives of sufferers and can affect their ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day. Worryingly, 17 out of 100 people in the UK also experience suicidal thoughts. Part of the reason many struggle to understand mental health is that they don’t know what it actually means; to date, there are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. More specifically, mental ill health is characterised by mild to severe disturbances in thought and behaviour, resulting in an inability to cope with the demands and routines experienced throughout life. The most commonly known forms of mental illness are depression and anxiety, but there are plenty of others. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as eating and personality disorders will drastically affect the way people go about their day- to-day lives. In its most severe form, mental ill health can make it impossible for a sufferer to hold down a job. MENTAL HEALTH, WELLBEING & THE WORKPLACE During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work, so our experience in the workplace is a key factor in determining our overall wellbeing. Our growing concern with good work-life balance has helped to raise awareness of the relationship between our jobs and our mental and physical wellbeing. The working environment can, without doubt, exacerbate mental ill health; reported causes include poor management, unreasonable demands and deadlines, unfair pay, bullying, harassment and internal politics. A negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problem \Y[\HوX[\܈[ X[YZ\H[X]]KH\[وH\\Y[]]Hو\ۛ[[][Y[ T HYHYYYH[\X]Y[[[X[[]Hۈܙ[\][ۜˈHYB[](BB(B(B(B(BBHوY\\\H[ܙHZ[H]BBB[ۙX]XYY\MH[]\\YH][\H\Ž H[]YX[ۘ[]BHZHۙ\\L H\H[X[H\]Y[BBB]\Y\Y[˂HYH[[] ܈H\[YK\\BXZ܈]\Hوۙ]\HX[H[X[X[[ۋBX[X[ܚ\˂-HSTUSӐS