Work and Mental Health


Work and Mental Health

Did you know that in Australia during any given year, one in five people will experience a mental health issue?

I know this, as I am one of the one in five. You may be asking yourself why is he revealing such a personal life experience in the Smallville forum? My answer is straightforward; there are so many people that experience this, which means through your business and personal life, you will be encountering people that are living with this, whether you know it or not. Plus, you may also be one of the one in five, like me.

Personally, this is what I have learnt in regards to how it affects my workday:

I have slow times, and sometimes I need more time to overcome my anxieties and sticking points but I also have highly productive times that occur in bursts and I still always get things done and reach my goals. Maybe not always at the pace of the motivational business gurus but I do get there in the end.

My mind can work fast and is able to process lots of information (kind of like the scrolling news feed at the top or bottom of a TV news channel). While sometimes this is distracting it also means that I am able to process the big picture of a situation very quickly and accurately.

I am also empathetic which helps me to understand others as I am able to put myself in their shoes. But being empathetic also means that I have to work hard at remembering not to take everything personally.

I wanted to share this with you so that you not only understand a little more but also so that you may be able to more easily identify if someone you know is perhaps living with the same mental state.

If you are working with someone who is dealing with a mental health issue here are some helpful points that may assist you:

  • If someone has revealed that they live like this, it has probably taken time for them to build up to it and a lot of courage to get it out. Do note that this means that they trust you a lot; you can’t buy that kind of trust.
  • It does not help someone with anxiety and or depression if you just flat out say to them, “Don’t take it so personally” all the time. While there may be some truth to this statement, this is like telling water not to be wet. Instead, work with the person to find a solution that works for both of you, and you may be gratefully surprised at the outcomes.
  • Due to taking things personally, they will get highly invested in the work they do, so they will take it very seriously and want to achieve their goals. However, this is not always done in the linear fashion you think it will be done; the goals will be achieved but sometimes in a roundabout manner. This approach, however, will sometimes lead to great creativity, so do be flexible and understanding but also know you don’t have to give up on high expectations.
  • Sometimes they may need to take time off for themselves, a mental health day. Just because they are not feverish or coughing up a lung does not mean that they are not well; sometimes taking time can be healing and rejuvenating.
  • Don’t use a childlike voice with them; this just sucks rocks, end of story.
  • Don’t make decisions on their behalf, if they are decisions that others would normally make for themselves. Your intention might be amazing but taking someone’s decision-making capacity away can lead to all sorts of problems and resentments unless they have requested this from you. If you are unsure just check in with the person; I know that is what I appreciate.
  • Check in with them occasionally. Not every day as that is just annoying unless of course, someone requests that, as it can be helpful for some people.
  • Don’t avoid people. Being isolated never helps anyone ever.
  • Just be friendly. Have your usual Friday night drinks, party on people, it is all good.

Of course, if someone you know is really struggling, always support them to seek professional help. Support goes a long way.

I have learned that even with depression and anxiety I can still tap into my personal power and reach my goals.

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