World Mental Health Day 2017


‘World Mental Health Day’ was first celebrated in 1992 and designed to educate & increase awareness of mental health conditions as well as dispelling the associated stigma. This year’s theme is ‘Workplace Wellbeing’ so we crowdsourced for YOUR opinions! We hope this provides some insight.

Your thoughts

“When you work alone you just don’t celebrate your wins. It seems that they just get moved past and you get onto the next thing. This can get you thinking disproportionately about what you’re achieving alone.” Sara Calgie

“Work/life balance is one of the biggest issues for all workers. The cost of living is forcing people to work harder and in many cases this affects their wellbeing. We’re not taught to deal with stress at school. We’re taught to compete, push ourselves hard, be the best. In many cases we’re expected to choose a career at 16 when we don’t know enough about ourselves and the world. Many people end up stuck doing jobs they don’t enjoy, often because of their responsibilities later in life. Competition for jobs is getting fiercer. There’s so much pressure on people, so no wonder there are millions of work days lost due to stress and depression, costing businesses billions. A lot of people don’t feel like they can be open about how they feel at work, so they keep going which can lead to burnout and long term conditions such as severe depression. ” Debbie Stokoe

“I think workplace wellbeing is very important. Every one handles stress differently and whilst a simple thing can be shrugged off by one, it can consume another’s full day. It’s important to take time to breathe and reflect and realise that it’s not the end of the world and tomorrow’s a new day! There’s a fab quote floating about that i try to use which is “was it a bad day or was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day?” And that sort of helps me get a little bit of perspective on matters.” Eve Wilderspin

“Walking meetings are the future. Encourage stretch breaks. Open windows. Have plants in your office. Encourage openHave a ta dar list instead of a to do list, make sure you notice what you have achieved rather than just what is always left to do.  and celebrate failure. Be kind to each other.” Tamsin Crimmens

“Have a ta dar list instead of a to do list, make sure you notice what you have achieved rather than just what is always left to do.” Ruthus Suttonous

“I suffered a period of work related stress due to bullying so workplace well-being is close to my heart. I really don’t understand how people can behave in such a childish manner when they’re adults. It’s clearly low self esteem though. There is a lot that companies can do to stop behaviour like that but many workplaces choose not to. They would rather get rid of the “problem employee”. The issue with that is that they will have another situation in future because they haven’t really dealt with the issue effectively.” Kelly Oliver Dougall

“I structure my day so I have at least three different activities to engage in, if one is not working for me I have another ready. If anything my mental health has actually instilled a calmer and more creative approach to business. Isolation has been the most difficult area for me, as part of my condition produced extreme social anxiety, to the point that I could only manage myself in my home and my studio for a time.” Gail Curry

“Workplace wellbeing has so many different aspects to it. To me, a big part of it is allowing people to work flexibly. That means that they can juggle the stress and strain of their family life and personnel life as well as giving them the opportunity to continue to work without the stress of being late everyday, rushing their work to make sure they leave on the dot. If you work with employees, they will want to do more for you more! Taking away the daily struggles or at least helping out with them plays a massive part in whether people are happy at work!” Danielle Ayres

“We’re becoming more and more used to managing high functioning stress and anxiety these days. Ive personally experienced this and in my work I see high stress levels that are considered ‘normal’. The workplace can be incredibly stressful for all sorts of reasons and wellbeing can depend largely on how we think – our underlying beliefs and stress triggers that are being fired off regularly. Clearing out those triggers and limiting beliefs can diminish stress massively!” Angela Walton

“I work with young people who have mental health difficulties and it’s so easy to forget about my own mental health. It is so important to remind people to look after themselves and show kindness inwards as well as towards others.” Jen Burlton

“We’re all human and sometimes our personal lives and problems can impact on our work productivity and emotional wellbeing. Life events can’t always be controlled and a bereavement or relationship breakdown can cause anxiety and stress that spills over in to the workplace. Being able to have an honest and open conversation with a line manager and receiving support or just someone to listen could be the difference between a breakdown and long term sickness and a few wellbeing days off.”  Natalie Cocksworth

“I had an interview last week and when asked if I had any questions, mine was, does my office have windows? Natural light are so important for wellbeing especially through the winter months. I’ve had two jobs now where the office had no windows and the teams were so depressing.” Hollie Gregerson

“Get your posture right – Every job comes with occupational hazards, but some can be easily overlooked. It could be as simple as ensuring you have the right sized ladder for a job, using a pillow or back support on your chair if you drive all day, or even just keeping your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the ground while seated.” Elizabeth Plumb

“I think its so important that more companies have support and procedures in place for employees struggling with mental health. I had a bad experience with work, mental health and physical health that lead to me quitting after being accused of faking my illness. Had there been the right procedures, training and support, that would have never happened. ” Rebecca Allan

“I’m super proud to be launching our new wellbeing campaign on world mental health day. We have over 13,000 colleagues and our campaign is ‘Wellbeing Starts With Me’. I’ve loved researching the project and having suffered with mental ill-health for the past few years – I want people to really start to look after their brains and understand the benefits of all round wellbeing to our mental wellbeing. The science has been really interesting.” Di Keller


We’re aware that there is a distinct lack of gender diversity in the post but we, unfortunately, didn’t get any male responses to the crowdsourcing. Is this a reflection of men not wanting to talk about their mental health? The suicide rates for men are higher in every age group – men need to talk!


Thanks to everyone for taking part in this post and sharing your thoughts!

We hope the #WMHD2017  is a huge success – long may the discussion about mental health continue!








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