We recently held an event for our clients called Managing Mental Health in The Workplace. Stuart Jessop a Trustee from MIND came to talk on this subject, drawing from his own experience of having suffered from depression from a young age. There were some very useful pointers from him on how to deal with mental health in the workplace. He said that often we are tempted to sit down with someone and tell them what they "should" be doing to help their mental health but that in reality, this adds to the pressure they are feeling and has a negative effect. What can be doen, is to give the person concerned a list of options they can investigate for themselves.
I found his comments on suicide also interesting. 80% of suicides in the UK are male. Men often feel they have noone to turn to when they encounter mental health problems. He said that it has been shown that the role of hairdressers is one of the reasons why women don't commit suicide as often! Hairdressers often listen to women's problems as they cut their hair ( I would add beauticians perform a similar role!). Barbers, on the other hand, don't as a rule listen to men pouring out their problems. He told us that there had been a trial study in Glasgow where barbers had been trained to listen to men the way women's hairdressers listen to women and there were some very positive results!
Clearly, we have a long way to go in learning to recognise and manage mental health issues but it seems to me that a positive start has been made.
Have a good week.