Keep your head today

It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay on Tuesday 10 October, so here is a short blog on mental health. This wasn’t on the editorial plan, but do you know what?  being impulsive is good for the soul! and probably our mental health too. Don’t get stuck in a rut with your writing!

Mental health is a serious subject that everyone should brush up. 

In the last five years I’ve had mental health issues to manage at work. Mental health causes absence and people have asked me how they self certify for time off for mental health. But it’s just another illness and treated as such.

Mental health can cause work performance issues. Those are harder to manage. Sometimes though, as a manager, you can help someone realise they are in the wrong job. Other times you can just reassure them that they are doing OK. Good feedback and a thank you go a long way to help those who need some reinforcement. 

Some professions seem to have more challenge with mental health. The tool of developers is the PC, but it their work is uniquely powered by the mind. There seems to be a stress and strong link to personal confidence to succeed in this profession. Maybe the cerebral nature of the work just highlights any issues quickly. Or maybe the stress causes cracks to open faster and it has a more visible impact on this work. 

Mental health challenges can also invade your family. I’ve seen Depression, Anxiety and life altering Dementia develop at first hand in the year.

Do I have mental health issues. Sure. Sometimes the anxious person in my life is too much and I get angry or shut down. Sometimes I notice (from my NLP studies) that my state of mind isn’t where it resides normally. A heightened state can be from tiredness, like delirium or too much caffeine. A low state can be an emotional red light that something is off and needs my attention. 

Sometimes the outdoors, sunshine, friends and physical exercise can help to reset your state. Sometimes it’s some me time thats needed to recharge. Other times it’s unperceived tiredness, the need for a change or a break.

I’ve only scratched the surface here in my unplanned article. One thing is true about mental health and that’s listening helps.

Listen to your partner, listen to your parents, listen to your employees. The year out student, the stressed programmer, the frustrated designer.

Listen, and seek to understand their personal battle. Organisations like The Samaritans and SolentMind exist for just this purpose. 

Listen to yourself too and don’t forget to care for your own wellbeing. Being in a good place is the only way you’ll be a least to help others.

Thanks for listening, on any day and particularly on Worldmentalhealth day. #WorldMentalHealthDay #WorldMentalHealthDay2017.