How often do you check in with yourself? Checking off your to-do list in your head, making a mental note for something and trying to remember the information a colleague told you about that important meeting last week. All necessary, everyday duties, but we mean how often do you check in with your inner workings and measure your own mental health? Probably not often enough, so it’s fitting we’re talking about this on World Mental Health Day (10th October) which sits within Mental Health Week, running from 4 – 13 October. Fittingly, this year’s theme is one very close to our cause: Mental Health in the Workplace.
Am I happy? Am I sad? Am I stressed? Am I feeling overworked? Am I feeling undervalued or bullied? Am I closing off to others? Am I feeling suicidal? These are all conversations we need to have with our own minds, and then with others as suffering in silence is never a good way forward.
At The Fruit People we’re all about fostering healthy habits in the workplace. Yes, we’re just a corporate fruit box and snack delivery service in Ireland – a small, family-owned start-up trying to change the country’s nutrition habits at work. But our message, idea and ethos is far bigger than that, our message is all about encouraging positive change in the workplace, improving working conditions, bettering wellbeing at work and all in all creating nicer, more modern and open environments to work in which in turns creates happier, more productive and alert staff with far greater job satisfaction. Mental health ties in so heavily to what we do as we’re constantly encouraging our customers – employers both big and small across the country – to become more aware of their staff wellbeing and mental health at work.
We spend 50% of our waking hours in any given working day at work, which equates to over a third of our waking hours throughout a 50-year working life. So much of our time is spent at work and smart employers are placing wellbeing at the heart of what they do but there are many not catering to their staffs needs in this area. Mental Health Ireland is a fantastic resource full of useful information about mental health in Ireland – how to live with it, how to support others and spreading awareness to open up a conversation about something that affects so many of us in our daily lives. There are so many activities taking place across Ireland throughout October to highlight mental health awareness, all listed here on the MHI website, whilst they encourage wellbeing in all aspects of life – not just work. Sharing their five simple actions to feel good and function well in everyday life, they advise to:
Click through to the Mental Health Ireland website to read their brilliant (and very simple) article on five ways to wellbeing at work. Another great resource for smart employers conscious about their employees’ mental health and wellbeing is an article from Mental Health UK about the benefits of great line management and good mental health in the workplace.
We all have the ability to open up over a cuppa, so why not take some time out from work today with your colleagues, pop the kettle on and open up an honest dialogue about how everyone is doing and what the office could do to foster a better environment for positive mental health. For the second year running, Lyons Tea is running Time To Talk in partnership with Pieta House, the Centre for Suicide, Self-Harm Prevention and Suicide Bereavement Services, to encourage more people to talk openly about their mental wellbeing during the month of October. In a survey carried out by Lyons Tea, just under half of the 1,000 Irish people surveyed admitted that they should make more time to talk about their mental health. Whilst 40% said that they think about their mental health regularly, one in five of the participants said that it was not something that they are conscious of in their day to day life. Read more about the statistics on Joe.ie.
Pieta House themselves shared this simple but powerful image this morning which really does sum up mental health and how we relate to our minds – be kind to yourself today, and be kind to those around you.. and if you’re struggling, let someone know. You owe it to yourself to not suffer in silence.
The Samaritans Free phone 116 123, Text: 087 260 9090, 116 123
Aware (Depression & Anxiety) 1980 303 302
National Suicide Helpline (Pieta House) 1800 247 247
Irish Advocacy Network (Peer advocacy in mental health) 01 872 8684
Pieta House (Suicide & self-harm) 01 623 5606
IACP (Counselling & Psychotherapy) 01 230 3536
Shine: (Supporting people effected by mental ill health) 01 860 1620