This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental Health issues are discussed in the media far more today than ever before. This may be due to people being more willing to discuss problems they may have, or better awareness, or more stressful lifestyles leading to more people having a mental health condition or a combination of all three.
But although there is more coverage, more awareness, more discussions around mental health is there any less stigma? Is there more understanding and help for those in need? News from the sector suggests that with continued cuts to funding and stripping back of services there isn't.
However, the more information that comes to light about various mental health conditions the clearer something becomes. Community and relationships are the key. No man is an island. Getting through the tunnel to the light the other side will take time and most importantly support. And the support is out there in various guises, from charities, to friends who have experienced something similar to professionals.
A lot of our clients support people with mental health problems and they appreciate the importance of establishing a community of caring support. This is not just within the doors of the care home, respite centre or whatever the building may be although the right team plays a big part too. Local community links are vital. Helping businesses to improve links with their local community is often an important part of our role in supporting our clients.
Building links with the community, making friends, seeing some friendly faces on a regular basis is an important part of building relationships you can rely on. And these relationships should continue into the workplace, where many of us spend the majority of our time. Having a friendly and supportive team can go a long way in reducing stress in our daily lives. With the recent announcement of flexible working being approved in the UK, it would be nice to think that this will help us all to be able to deliver at work, while also meeting the needs of our personal lives.
Mental health is a part of life, for everyone. Anyone can experience depression or similar conditions throughout their lives. And at these times what can really help is a few well placed colleagues, friends or family members who can see you right through the tough times to the other side. Because there IS an 'other side'.
United we stand isn’t just an overused song title.