Raising awareness and combating stigma

Ally Finnis

Everyone goes through phases of stress, anger and sadness, but the lack of discussion around mental health disorders and how people struggle with them makes it hard to recognise the signs that one needs help.

Debbie Adwent, operations manager for St John Ambulance, said: "We believe these results reflect the experiences of the wider workforce and urge employers to take the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce seriously".

If you are anxious about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider.

Xero is today launching a new "wellbeing leave" policy, under which its staff can access personal leave for their wellbeing and mental health when needed. Every year in Australia, approximately 14% of the population (1 in 7) experiences an anxiety disorder.

He said some mental health disorders include anxiety disorder such as panic disorder, phobias obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Around 4,500 people take their lives every year in England and suicide remains the leading cause of death among men under the age of 45.

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"Most people with depression are not suicidal, but most suicidal people are depressed, hence the importance of knowing the symptoms of depression", she said.

Citing the World Health Organization resource, the senior psychiatrist said that early years of adulthood are a time of life when one undergoes several changes such as changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or taking a new job.

Nearly all employees (96%) agree that mental health is as important as physical health, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable. They also lay out the numbers, writing that 800,000 will die by suicide this year - making it an issue that transcends geography.

Richardson said: "I am hugely passionate about raising the conversation around mental health". Society has always conditioned us to believe that mental health issues are a stigma and that they can't be spoken about. However, one in three workers (32 percent) are willing to use technology to support their mental health without any professional guidance, and three in four (75 percent) would consider using tech without knowing how well it was tested. However, there are simply no other accessible options. Organisations need to develop a solid, evidence-based understanding of the causes of unhealthy practices such as "presenteeism", or people turning up for work when ill - a trend observed by almost 9 in 10 employers.

"The beliefs they hold about themselves and the world, the messages they get from people, places and organisations around them, the societal pressures they face, the level of support they have and the resources available to them, can all contribute to the development and treatment of their mental health".

Around 75% of cases of mental illness start before a child reaches their 18th birthday, while 50% of mental health problems in adults, aside from dementia, take root before the age of 15.

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