World Mental Health Day: taking care in the workplace

10 October 2017

Now in its 25th year, World Mental Health Day is this year drawing attention to mental health in the workplace.

Asking for help when it comes to mental health isn’t easy, but taking care of how you feel emotionally is just as important as physical health. That’s why this World Mental Health Day Southwark Council is reminding all residents and workers based in the borough alike to get the support they need.

The council encourages people to follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing which reinforces the positive effect that staying active, focusing on learning, and connecting with others can have on mental wellbeing. With 28 Green Flag parks across the borough, free gym and swim and a variety of adult learning courses and volunteering options available there is a wide variety of ways to get involved and start improving your mental wellbeing.

In any given year, it is estimated that one in four adults will suffer from a mental health problem. In Southwark, this equates to almost 63,000 people. People can be affected by mental health problem at any stage in their lives; including new mothers, children, teenagers, adults and older people.

We spend a large proportion of our time at work and our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. One in five people in the workplace will experience a mental health condition which is why it is so important for people to be able to talk about any problems they are experiencing.

It’s important to remember that you don't have to be an expert to be supportive. It can be as simple as checking in with someone, asking them how they're doing, listening and not judging. Just being there for colleague, friend or relative is an important part of mental wellbeing.

Cllr Richard Livingstone, Cabinet member for Adult Care and Financial Inclusion said: “Over recent years there has been an increase in awareness and willingness to talk about mental health. As these public and private conversations continue, the reality of living with a mental health condition becomes increasingly destigmatized.

“Mental health is everyone’s business and everyone has a role to play, including in the workplace. It is important that employees know where to go within their organisations to get the support they need.”

Support is available via your GP or by calling the NHS on 111.

Last updated: 10 October 2017