Workplace Mental Health

What You Need To Know?
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How Are Work and Mental Health Related?

Many people find going to work is good for their mental health.

How Can it Help Or Hinder?

It can help you look after your mental health by providing:

  • a source of income
  • a sense of identity
  • contact and friendship with others
  • a steady routine and structure
  • opportunities to gain achievements and contribute.
I found work helps me to maintain an important part of my identity – separate from the illness. It’s still me in here.

At times you may find that your work is affected because of your mental health problem. For instance, if you are experiencing hypomania, you might find it difficult to concentrate. But by making a few changes, and with support from your employer, work can be a positive experience.

What Type of Work Suits Me?

Figuring out what type of work suits your needs can help you feel better able to manage your mental health while working. When deciding what sort of work would suit you, you might want to think about:

  • how many hours you can work – do you have other commitments that take up your time?
  • when you can work them – do you need time during the day to go to appointments, or evenings free for child care?
  • where you work – how long do you want to commute?
  • who you work with – do you prefer to work on your own, or with other people?
I find it useful to create spaces in the day when I can stop, reflect and address some of the difficulties in the day
How Can I Manage Stress at Work?

Good stress management is important in the workplace. If you often

experience feelings of stress, you might be at risk of developing a mental

health problem, like depression or anxiety, and stress can also make

existing problems worse. Building resilience can help you to adapt to

challenging circumstances.

I try to keep each task short and clear, take breaks when getting tired and be polite, honest and empathic with the people I work with.

You don’t need to cope with stress alone. Here are some general things you can try:

  • Recognising the signs of stress and the causes is a good place to start.
  • Work out what you find stressful and helpful in the workplace. Once you know what works for you, talk to your employer about this. They may be able to make some changes to help you.
  • Try different coping techniques to use as soon as you start to feel pressure building. Everyone is different, it may take time to find a method that works for you. Try the Stress Management Society website for ideas (see Useful contacts on p.24).
  • Try mindfulness. Focusing on the here and now can help you to create space to respond in new ways to situations. The be mindful website has tips on how to do this (see Useful contacts on p.24).
  • Look after your physical health. See Mind’s online guides on Physical activity, sport and mental health and Food and mood for more information on how this can help your mental health.
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