In the last decade we've seen a huge change in the global approach to mental and psychological ill health. We're beginning to understand that everyone has mental health, just as everyone has physical health. Also like our bodies, our minds sometimes become unwell, to differing degrees and with different catalysts.
We're still a long way from universal acceptance of psychological conditions, especially in business. It's (arguably) human nature to fear something we don't understand, after all.
But we are learning to help treat people with psychological illnesses more effectively. And thanks to a small but growing number of celebrities admitting they suffer or have suffered from a form of mental illness, attitudes are changing.
James Wade, Stephen Fry, Catherine Zeta Jones and Mel Gibson have all shown courage in the face of diagnosis. Their public - and often blunt - speaking about their respective conditions have helped heighten awareness.
Such openness has paved the way for other sufferers to talk about their conditions without fear of stigmata or discrimination. More and more, we're seeing businesses adopt open minded attitudes in the workplace.
That said, we know we've still got a long way to go to encourage workmates to open up about their mental health. When they feel comfortable enough to talk about their psychological conditions, managers need to be ready.
UK studies suggest that around 1-in-4 adults suffer at least one diagnosable mental health disorder in any given year.
Of working age population,
"One sixth of the working age population have symptoms that, by virtue of their nature, severity and duration do meet diagnostic criteria (Office for National Statistics, 2001)"
~ Mental Health and Work: report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for HM Gov.
The same report attests that another sixth of the UK workforce suffers from associated disorders like sleep problems, fatigue and irritability.
As such, support from colleagues and line managers is vital if employees hope to manage distress or mental illness successfully. But many employees admit to feeling uncomfortable about working alongside colleagues who have mental health symptoms.
Some work colleagues and friends will be open and supportive to someone with mental health problems. But even then, they may be unsure how to deal with someone who is distressed or going through a crisis.
MOHS has engaged psychotherapists, accredited third parties and industry thought leaders to develop a range of mental health training courses. Our scope is constantly broadening, but here are current programmes:
Many more mental health and psychology courses are in development. Please watch this space or join our email subscribers to get the heads up first.
For further information or to book a place in confidence, please email email@example.com or call 0121 601 4041.