“Struggling with mental illness in the workplace can be very isolating unless we have the courage to talk to others and begin to move forward. Whilst employers and line managers have some responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees, I strongly believe that the overall responsibility for our health lies firmly with the individual. Therefore, my advice to everyone is to take all aspects of your health seriously - this especially includes mental health.
How else can we perform well and be happy and fulfilled in our roles if we are not looking after ourselves? For me, I had to stop being a victim of my anxiety and depressive episodes and take a long look at my lifestyle and routines, then do something about it. This included speaking with a counsellor through the Employee Assistance Programme, changing my diet and exercise routine, adjusting my circle of friends, speaking openly with my line manager about how I can work better (with others) and pay back to the community that serves us.
Since I have shared my vulnerabilities with my close colleagues, we have worked far better together. I feel supported and empowered to work at my best for longer without paranoia. Yes, I will be low occasionally, but this is normal for us all and it will always pass if we remember our purpose and motivators. Just be honest and listen to yourself - talk more openly and keep moving forward.”
Andy Hall, Mentoring Relationship Specialist, GC Business Growth Hub