Mental health in the workplace
From lock-downs, to remote working and home-schooling – it’s fair to say the last couple of years have been tough on us all. Statistics show that women were more prone to stress, anxiety, insomnia and loneliness during the pandemic.
Trying to cope with the completely alien situation of a pandemic and not being able to see friends and family, whilst juggling work and helping my son through his final year of high school was definitely an enormous challenge to me. Throw in selling and buying a house and that was it, my mental health plummeted. I burnt out.
I am really lucky though – I have an understanding workplace and a great team around me that gave me the space to recover. So much so that I decided to complete a mental health at work course (I am now a qualified Mental Health Workplace Responder), and attend webinars, so I could learn as much as possible and make sure that I could be there for others.
We all know agency-life can sometimes feel very fast paced, and often it can be tricky to switch off. At Spark we are looking to tackle that. We want the work life balance to be just that, a balance, not a burden.
As well as regular check-ins with the guys, we believe following some simple rules can go a long way to helping the team. From simple things such as remembering to take a lunch break (get outside or away from the computer for a while), to making sure you try and stick within normal working hours (it can be all too easy to get tied up in a task and work through until 7pm!).
There are some amazing support resources out there. NABS, Mental Health Foundation, and Mind all have free guides and advice online and there’s a growing number of apps that can help achieve a little bit of mindfulness and inner calm.
NABS saw a massive rise in people contacting them for help with mental health since last year – it now accounts for over quarter of all their enquiries and emotional support call counting for even more.
Mainly, I want to keep encouraging people to seek help, to talk to each other, and actively listen. It won’t fix everything overnight, but it could ease things slightly for someone. It massively helped me.