Mental Health Awareness is key, but in with all of the great talking and learning that is happening, I also wanted to throw this in…
Sometimes, people don’t want to share their feelings, their emotions or there state of well-being.
This is ok.
With there being such a lot of emphasis now on mental health in the workplace it comes with a slightly misplaced sense of ‘forced openness’.
People are asked to fill out assessments, to give a well-being score every day or just to talk about how they are feeling more.
All of this is GREAT and I think the efforts to make mental health a key part of the conversation is brilliant.
However it needs to be balanced with a respect for those who don’t wish to share, to open up or to talk about their feelings.
Mostly this is done well, everything is optional and no pressure is put on people to open up but there is a growing sense amongst the clients I work with that people are starting to feel they have a ‘right’ to know how you feel.
This is not so good.
If you were asked to go into work and share your gynaecological state that day, or the health of your waterworks, or how much food you ate the day before you might see this as an infringement of your personal privacy and unnecessary (and you would be right).
Just as having a physical health issue can be kept private (as long as it doesn’t impact your ability to do your work) so can mental health issues and that’s perfectly ok.
There is, however, a BIG difference between wanting to deal with something privately and quietly and not wanting to deal with it at all.
The key is checking whether you are at a point where not seeking help is more detrimental that doing so…if you have a lump that you are ignoring in your body and refusing to see a doctor about it – that’s not a good idea.
If you are finding it hard to get through each day, or your mental well-being is no longer feeling within your control…then refusing to see a professional about it or get some support is also – not a good idea.
There are so many ways now to get help without having to feel vulnerable or exposed, online support, phone support, workplace support that is kept confidential etc, just a chat with your GP can start things moving in the right direction.
And if, after getting help where it’s needed, you wish to keep that private – then you should feel completely comfortable with that.
Stay aware, look out for each other, but you do it your way.