When it comes to mental health, it’s about time we stopped just having special days, stopped having posters and badges and logos and actually do something to support all of us.
Well-being is not just a chocolate bar from your boss. It is a long term reduction of anxiety inducing environments and policies, it’s education of all of us that other people may not feel like we feel. And we may never understand why.
Work may not be the reason for Mental Health issues, it maybe an unhealthy escape, distraction – it may be re-enforcement of things we already know about ourselves and our lives, but as the place where we likely interact the most and spend the most time and therefore, somewhere mental health may manifest itself.
We all have good and bad periods in our lives, and for some, mental health issues may come and go, and never return. For others they impact everyday in some way.
So posters and special days don’t really help. The only thing that really helps is being nice to each other, checking in on each other – listening and supporting each other. Not ripping people apart for not understanding your particular circumstances. And not jumping to conclusions when you don’t understand theirs.
Many people are lonely, some realise and others don’t. Some embrace it, and others chase company. Either way, being nice to someone costs nothing and causes nothing but positivity. It’s not a hard mantra to be nice.
If you are a boss, trying to understand and help everyone with their own issues can lead you to having your own issues, and if you have your own issues you may think you understand those of your colleagues. You don’t, you won’t and you can’t. You might be able to relate, but the most important thing? Be nice.
If you are an employee, then your boss might just be suffering as well. Or they may be trying to support in ways you can’t see straight away. They can’t understand your mental health like you don’t understand theirs, or even your own. All you can do? Be nice.
What does being nice mean? A smile, or an attempt at one. Listening when needed, talking when needed. Having someone’s back. Understanding reasons why someone’s performance (employee or employers) might be affected might be more then being crap or lazy.
It’s also understanding that someone’s experiences and feelings might not line up with your expectations and norms.
And that’s okay. As long as you be nice.