The concept of sustaining positive mental health is something that is testing societies and businesses worldwide today and the challenge of tackling the many evolving pressures within our modern lives is something that we each have a responsibility to support.
If I think about the different pressures faced by the teenagers of today compared with those I faced at their age, it is a stark reminder of how demanding transitions can be during our lives – from starting our first job, to relationships and family, to changing career, to handling bereavement, to moving house and everything in between – and with so much of this being tracked by social media, the need for resilience and good mental health has never been more apparent to me.
Fundamentally, good mental health is relevant to all of us – for ourselves, within our families, for friends, colleagues or employees – and without doubt, having good mental health is critical in terms of enjoying and thriving at work. It is also a growing necessity for organisations to engage and take active and proactive steps to promote good mental health and resilience on a day-to-day basis, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or any other factor.
I am encouraged that, in recent years, the subject of mental health has grown in visibility. We are now able to speak openly about mental health issues in order to get the right support and it seems that the message is getting through. With instances of poor mental health being reported more frequently we are increasingly prepared to raise and report mental health issues, which is actually a huge step forward.
Poor mental health has become the greatest cause of workplace absence and more organisations are adopting a proactive stance to support good mental health, as well as ensuring rehabilitation is in place both inside and outside the workplace through a variety of wellbeing initiatives and incentives. This should be applauded and expanded and it makes economic sense: the concept that a ‘happy employee is a productive employee’ also proves the business rationale for this new focus.
Perhaps some of the most important relationships we have at work are with our line manager and close colleagues. Where organisations are able to successfully promote and support good mental health at this ‘local’ level for each of us, it’s possible that they can fundamentally change the landscape of mental health, developing understanding and practical skills to create the resilience that is necessary for us all to cope with the demands of the world today. We each need to play our part in understanding and supporting each other on a day-to-day basis and, as part of this.
Through my research, and publications with co-author Andrew Kinder in both Positive Male Mind (2018) and Positive Mental Health(2019), we are seeking to promote more understanding about handling the pressures of life and supporting those who are experiencing demanding transitions and mental health challenges – providing a practical outlook and tools that can be used to support ourselves as individuals, as well as those we work alongside and our families and friends.
Events like Mad World remind us all of the need to act if we are to address this important societal challenge and encourage us to reflect on what it means for you and those around you, as well as the positive impact you can make for yourself and others.
About the book and its authors
Mental health problems affect 1 in 4, and while many suffer from it, few seek help or speak about it. Written by Dr. Shaun Davis and Andrew Kinder, both of whom are leading experts on this topic, Positive Mental Health aims to inspire positive dialogue around mental health in a practical way, to help address this taboo topic in the personal and corporate spheres.
This book will provide individuals with tips and tools on how they, or those they know suffering, can develop greater mental health and wellbeing, and therefore increase quality of life, performance, productivity, and overall business effectiveness.
About the Author