When I asked what I should write about when it comes to mental health in the workplace, this was one of the topics suggested. It’s an important one because it is still not easy to broach the subject, despite the fact that a lot more is being done these days to help raise awareness and disseminate information.
I’m pretty sure that at least once in your life you’ve thought to yourself: “that’s it, I quit!”
If you haven’t then you are one of those very fortunate people who gets to do a job they love, or else perhaps you’re delusional… Just kidding!
More seriously, I don’t think there are many people who have not gone through a difficult time at work, or considered their career options, without thinking about quitting. It’s natural and perhaps even healthy to question your choices every now again. But it begs the questions of all questions (sort of like knowing who is “the one”): how do I know when to quit? To answer that, I’d like to share my experience.
I’ve been addressing mental health in the workplace for a while, but one cannot talk about burnout (or other issues) if one doesn’t talk about what leads to it…
A lot of my articles focus on the individual and knowing oneself, which I continue to believe is of utmost importance. But is undeniable that certain environments create a burnout culture and are not favourable to employees’ wellbeing.
As I’ve been talking a lot about mental health in the workplace, it seemed natural to cover talking about it with your boss/manager. This is a difficult topic: on the one hand mental health is still stigmatized, particularly in the workplace. On the other hand, I believe in the importance of speaking about these issues to raise awareness.
Whether or not you feel comfortable telling your manager about your mental health issue is very personal, and will depend on several factors: your level of trust, their openness to listen to you, their ability to understand (as you perceive it), and what you expect as an outcome of the conversation.
Last time I wrote about team dynamics in the workplace and how they can affect your mental health. A really important part of that, is how to help someone else when you see they are in need. If that person is part of your team, or a colleague you see suffering, what can you do?
Showing someone else you care is probably the first step towards making them feel better. Remembering the times I was in most difficulty, just the simple fact of someone telling me to enjoy a break, or ask for help, already relieved the pressure a little. So by the sheer fact of noticing, you might already be making a difference.
With the recent publication of the « Thriving at work » study, it felt like an appropriate time to write the sequel to my first post, which I’d been planning for a while.
In case you’ve not heard of the report, it was commissioned by Theresa May and highlighted the fact that around 300’000 people with a long term mental health problem lose their jobs each year. Not only that, but apparently the number of people forced to stop work as a result of mental health problems was 50% higher than those with physical health conditions.