In Headtorch WORKS, our dramatic e-learning programme, we follow Matt’s story. At the Doctor, he says:
“Doctor I can’t go back. Work’s calling me all the time. I didn’t want to tell them about my bouts of anxiety and depression. I’d been managing it well…”
In an unsupportive culture at work it can seem impossible to speak up about mental ill-health. Stigma has a lot to answer for. The dictionary defines it as,
+ a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.
+ a mental or physical mark that is characteristic of a defect or disease.
Okay so let’s set some things straight here. It’s well known that 1 in 4 of us will have a mental health problem at some point in our lives. Surely this normality can’t make a quarter of the population, at any one time, marked as a disgrace, as defected or diseased?! How about we redefine the definition of stigma?
STIGMA = IGNORANCE
100% OF US HAVE MENTAL HEALTH just as we have physical health, and this can change day to day, week to week – understanding this means that there’s every reason to stamp out stigma at work. So what are the antidotes or defined antonyms to stigma.
In an APPROVING and RESPECTFUL culture that cares it could have been different for Matt. He could have had the self-ESTEEM to speak up about his ‘bouts of anxiety and depression’. To HONOUR his needs, everyone would have had the confidence to support Matt, to ask him open questions, to listen with empathy. These are behaviours worth PRAISING, giving CREDIT for looking out for each other.
This kind of culture creates a sense of PRIDE at work, increasing engagement and productivity, retaining talented staff – everyone, including the reputation of the business, BENEFITS. What’s not to EXALT about that?
Are your ANTIDOTES in place? What are you doing to promote them, to create a culture that cares in your workplace?
Wellbeing Hour with Paul Sheerin
“Engineering a Healthy Working Life” Paul Sheerin is CEO of Scottish Engineering. He has previously held senior and international roles with companies such as Polaroid and B&W Diamond Power. Working at the top levels of international companies led to the inevitable pressures and long hours associated with these roles. Join us and hear Paul’s story, […]
Why saying ‘Ski and Do’ makes the difference
The last time I’d skied abroad with my sister was just before the pandemic turned our world upside down – two whole years ago. This year, we were up for it big time and we weren’t disappointed. The snow was magic and the warm sun shone out of the radiant blue sky every single day. Let me […]
Senior Leaders Event: Mental Health – The Competitive Advantage
Mental Health – The Competitive Advantage An Event for Senior Leaders 17:30 – 20:00, 27th April 2022 Keystone Law 48 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1JF Cost free Register Here Join us for this interactive event, opened by Jane Wheeler, with Geoff McDonald, Amy McDonald, and Angus Robinson. Together, we will consider: why mental health must […]
Wellbeing = Performance
The Thursday Wellbeing Hour with Stephen McAllister Poor performing division to one of the best Mental health absence reduced by 300% Dramatic increase in performance levels … in one year Stephen has a wealth of knowledge in applying wellbeing & mental health initiatives in the workplace. He understands how this works and its impact on […]
1st Thursday Wellbeing Hour – Writing for Wellbeing
Join us for the 1st Thursday Wellbeing Hour Writing for wellbeing – learn how to free write Register here 3rd February 2022 12 – 1pm with Ali McDowall The Positive Planners Come and listen to Ali’s insights on how we can empower ourselves through the written word Register Here Ali McDowall is the Co-Founder […]