Some people seem to think that working within the mental health world, that staff aren’t affected by mental ill health. Truth is that 1 in 6 staff members AT LEAST experience mental health problems and that doesn’t even take into account volunteers in the third sector like ours!
Working in Mental health can be a blessing and a curse. You are helping people in need but are also along the way helping yourself too. On the other hand, you can neglect yourself while helping others and not realise you need help as much as they do.
Working conditions and environment can have a huge impact on mental health and, equally, someone’s mental health can have a significant impact to perform well in their job. Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
Third sectors promote well being and there staff should not be excluded from that. Managers have an important role to play in supporting their staff that are experiencing mental health problems. Managers cannot change the health of their staff but they can make a huge impact on the supported staff feel by communicating, listening and being open to adjustments where required and by providing support and signposting as necessary. It is important for managers to be seen as approachable and having time for their staff. Regular catch ups with staff are an opportunity to start a conversation about mental health and well being and for it to be seen as a normal part of line management.
The Third Sector is full of people who are champions of improving people’s mental health, but we need to start including ourselves in this effort. We will only be able to help other people if we take the time to look after ourselves.
you can contact services like https://www.healthyworkinglives.scot/Pages/default.aspx They offer support, advice and training to promote mental health and well being in the workplace.