The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10th October every year. The day provides an opportunity for people dealing with mental health issues and advocates of mental health to speak out talk about what more need to be done. The main theme set out by the World Health Organisation is young people and mental health in a changing world.
Our mental health is just like our physical health, we all have it and we all need to look after it. Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. The problems range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Work can have a huge impact on mental health many people find going to work is good for their mental health. 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
Unfortunately, you might find work can has a negative impact on your mental health. This could be because of:
poor relations with your colleagues
the type of work you're doing
experiencing stigma, or being treated unfairly because of your mental health problem
being unsure whether to tell your boss and colleagues about your mental health problem
worrying about returning to work after a period of poor mental health
If work is affecting your mental health, you can take steps to address the problems.
Many people are struggling with mental health issues including school children. Almost four in five teachers state they have seen a pupil struggle with mental health problems in the past year, with on in seven cases involving suicidal thoughts or behaviour.
Anxiety is the most common problem, with two-thirds of the 300 teachers surveyed by the mental health charity stem4 having come across a young person at their school dealing with the condition in the past year. Significant minorities of teachers have also encountered at least one pupil with depression (45%), an eating disorder such as anorexia (30%), self-harming (28%) or addiction (10%).
“Schools face huge challenges in dealing with mental health issues in their students, and teachers are on the front line. They witness first-hand the devastating impact of pressures such as exam anxiety, bullying, and family problems. The consequences of these problems are serious, often life-threatening, and teachers are desperate to help,” – Dr Nihara Krause.
If you are struggling with a mental health issue then please call the Mind info line - 0300 123 3393 (UK landline calls are charged at local rates, and charges from mobile phones will vary considerably). Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to support World Mental Health Day then you can donate to the mental health foundation – here.