Who can you talk to if you’re stressed at work?

An interesting article, published by the BBC, demonstrates how you can be stressed at work and it’s not work related. As a owner manager, how do you deal with this?

Natalie Hall shares openly how it’s difficult holding down her job and performing well when she suffers with an anxiety and depression disorder, something she states that she can’t talk openly about at work. From Natalie’s experience, the article suggests mental health problems remain a taboo in the workplace. Natalie states “I’d sit at my desk and not be able to stop the tears rolling down my face.” “A few people said, ‘Are you all right, do you need to be here?’ but no-one was really that interested.”

Natalie also says small gestures can go a long way to help a colleague who’s suffering with a mental health issue.
“It’s simple things – ‘I’ll make you a cup of tea’, ‘Shall we go and have a little walk?’ ‘Shall we get out of the office and go for a coffee?’ “And it’s about someone giving up a bit of their time, not saying, ‘I can make it better,’ but just being there and that’s what makes the difference.”

Read more on: Depression: ‘I kept my head down to survive the day at work’ from the BBC.

This brave lady explains how suffering from depression really affected her work. I wonder how much her issues we exacerbated by the fact she felt she couldn’t talk about it at work?

Keeping working is often seen as the best thing to do if you are depressed but sometimes, if you just can’t concentrate – having a break and being kind to yourself is the best thing you can do. Turning up at the office day after day and feeling awful but not being able to talk about it can be the very worst thing.

Depression is a difficult enough thing to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it but if you can’t understand why you are upset yourself and get upset when you try to talk about it then your work will be affected.

When we talk about workplace stress we generally assume that it’s something at work causing it. We all think that we should leave our problems from home at the door when we go to work, but sometimes it’s so huge it’s impossible. The culture of the workplace is a big factor in determining how you react – if people have no sympathy or see being stressed or depressed as a sign of weakness then you aren’t going to come in and talk about it.

As Natalie explains, being able to talk to her manager really helped – knowing you aren’t going to lose your job because of how you are feeling is one stress gone.

Would you talk about mental health problems at your work place? If you are a manager how would you react if a staff member told you they were suffering? We don’t want people to hide their problems until it hugely affects their work and they are heading for disciplinary action.

Having easy to access help in place then you may avoid huge problems with your staff. Call carol@ NECS works to see how we can help you put measures in place

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