The Priory Hospital in Chelmsford specialises in mental health and addiction treatments and has a wealth of mental health experts
In 2017 and 2018, 44% of work-related health cases were due to stress, depression or anxiety as well as 57% of working days were lost due to ill mental health. It has been revealed that the main factors in work related stress, depression or anxiety included pressures of workload, tight deadlines, too much responsibility and lack of support from managerial teams.Top 10 Tips
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Dr Paul McLaren from Priory Healthcare reveals his tips on how to raise mental health issues with your boss:
1. "When we are depressed, we often have strong feelings of shame. That is not just a psychological reaction but part of the biology of depression. Shame leads us to hiding away but hiding away makes our situation worse in the workplace and elsewhere. Think about the origins of how you are feeling."
2. "If you can't find the words to explain how you feel, or ask for the help you may need from your employer, write it down first in an email or letter, check it and run it past someone close."
3. "Rather than making it about how you feel, focus on the impact your mental health is having on your work and productivity and how you can work together to improve the situation. Remember, your employer will want to help you not least because it makes good business sense."Dr Sarma, from Priory Chelmsford Hospital, specialises in Personality Disorder, PTSD and Adult ADHD.
4. "It's entirely up to you how much you want to disclose - you don't have to name your condition but be careful about words like 'stress' which can mean many different things and is often misinterpreted. If you have seen your doctor, and have a diagnosis, then let your employer know you are ill."
5. "Stigma and discrimination about mental health is not supposed to exist in the workplace in 2018. Responsible employers recognise that and many take positive steps to reduce it through educating their workforce about mental as well as physical wellbeing."
6. "If you really feel you can't face talking to your boss, seek help in the form of a mediator - you don't have to do this alone if you don't want to. Help and support can often be found in your HR department, through a trusted colleague, via an occupational health officer or a representative from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)."
7. "Face your fear and recognise that your boss may be more receptive than you think - these days mental ill health is the most common reason for sickness absence. Between 1 in 5 and 1 in 6 people will seek help for depression at some point, so the chances are that someone in your office or management team will have direct experience of it either through having suffered themselves or being close to someone who did."
Mental health awareness day is another national day targeted towards raising more awareness on the disorder.
8. "Check out what is on offer at work - companies both large and small across the UK invest in their employee wellbeing and want to provide support to their employees. This might include free phone counselling and short-term face-to-face counselling (typically 6-8 sessions)."
9. "When you have weathered the storm and recovered, let your employer know how they did. What was helpful for you when you were struggling? Help your organisation to learn from your experience."
10. "By speaking up, you are helping yourself and others - as a valued employee, with knowledge and experience, your firm has invested time and training in you and want you to be productive. When we get depressed we lose sight of that. By speaking up, you are helping yourself - and them."
Dr Sarma says: “Time to Talk helps to root out mental health discrimination, and supports people in challenging discrimination in communities, workplaces, schools and even online. Whether we are professionals or members of various communities or have experience of mental health problems ourselves, we can all support this campaign by acknowledging, participating and spreading awareness on February 7, 2019.”