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Reflecting on Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Blog posted by: , 03 June 2024 – Categories: Health & Wellbeing.

Reflecting on Mental Health Awareness Week last month, it was an opportunity to focus on the importance of mental health.

Mental health covers a wide variety of conditions, and a quarter of people or more will at some point have mental ill health that impacts on their life and work. Many of those reading this will have had at least one period of a mental health condition, and we all know colleagues, family members or friends who are currently living with them, whether we are aware of it or not.

Mental health issues range from relatively rare but major conditions such as schizophrenia or severe bipolar spectrum disorder which are usually lifelong, with peaks, controlled with the help of drugs, to anxiety and depression which are common and can occur for a short one-off period but can be debilitating when it is present.

We must all be aware of the fact that people with mental health conditions are likely to be working with us, and that this is recognised positively as part of a diverse workforce, including that they often bring unique insights and perspectives. This may require some adaptation to ensure they, and the rest of the team, are supported and working at the top of their ability. Spotting when a colleague or friend is going through a period of difficulty around their mental health is an important part of all of our lives.

Professor Chris Whitty.

Editor's note: Colleagues wishing to access mental health support services should seek help through their departments Employee Assistance Programme, Mental Health First Aiders and wider wellbeing support initiatives such as Samaritans.


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