Several years ago I had very little understanding or experience of mental health issues, and wasn’t able to offer more than a sympathetic smile or an “it’ll get better”. Then, out of the blue, I suffered a breakdown in my own mental health...
I started to question whether my life was moving in the right direction and worried about things not ‘working out’. Fortunately, I was able to access a CBT course, and my family, friends and work colleagues helped me put my negative thoughts and feelings into perspective.
When I heard about MIND’s mental health training for line managers, which was being offered at the Trust, I asked my manager if I could attend. This excellent course was delivered by someone with first-hand experience, who was able to give real life-examples and explained how mental health had been ‘brought out of the darkness’ and is no longer a taboo subject. We were all able to share our thoughts in detail, without fear of judgement.
This training and my own experience have given me the tools to identify and help my colleagues to think about their own mental wellbeing before any potential issues escalate. Some have gone on to seek professional help and guidance. I now also recognise that poor performance is sometimes down to underlying factors, so I am more likely to discuss this with the individual concerned, rather than jumping to conclusions.
2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. We have seen an increase in people struggling with their mental health but also a shift in attitude towards the subject. I now find myself regularly asking friends and colleagues not only how they are but specifically “how are you coping emotionally?”. I am no longer afraid to ask this question and I have been able to be someone that my colleagues will openly approach when they have any concerns.
Whilst I am no professional on the subject, my door is always open to anyone who wants to have a chat.
We offer our managers mental health training to support their own wellbeing and help them understand and support their colleagues. www.wellbeingnands.co.uk can help you make positive changes in your life to cope with stress, anxiety or depression.