Good mental health is fundamental for wellbeing. The World Health Organization states: “Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Having good mental health is of vital importance as it directly impacts how we feel, think, and process life. Alongside this, it also determines how we behave and engage with the social settings around us. Therefore, mental health plays a vital role for every individual.
Generally, mental health has three main facets; the emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing of an individual. When we suffer from poor mental health it may affect our ability to productively participate in society and impact our self-image, the long term impact of this could ultimately cost us our relationships with friends and loved ones.
So our mental health not only impacts our ability to function but also our capacity to interact with others and our environment. While loneliness is not a mental health problem, feeling lonely can impact your mental health, and those with mental health problems have an increased risk of feeling lonely.
Loneliness occurs as a result of feeling a lack of connection with other individuals around you. While being alone is a state of being, feeling lonely is a state of mind. When we are lonely we feel disconnected from the world and others around us.
While it is commonly believed that loneliness affects people because of a lack of social interaction or social isolation, this is not entirely true. Loneliness can be experienced by an individual who is in a room full of people.
The Mental Health Foundation states “loneliness affects millions of people in the UK every year and is a key driver of poor mental health.” In addition to this, an increase in people experiencing loneliness has been seen due to the global pandemic.
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 9 May to 15 May, and the Mental Health Foundation has made loneliness the theme for this year.
The theme this year aims to create a greater understanding of loneliness, its impact, and ways to address it.
Having conversations about mental health can be tough. Most people suffering from a mental health challenge just need someone to talk to, who will actively listen to their problems.
While major mental health challenges require professional help, we can all help our peers in combating smaller yet frequently occurring mental health issues.
It is important to have these conversations in all areas of our lives. In the workplace we need to create environments where everyone can talk about their mental health. We need to create working cultures where discussing mental health and wellbeing is part of everyday life, so that when someone is struggling the framework already exists to provide appropriate support.
Spreading Mental Health awareness is as important as having good mental health in the first place. It not only helps to break stereotypes and de-stigmatize our approach towards the issue but also makes early interventions possible.
We run three half-day training sessions for managers to help Promote and Support Good Mental Health at Work The aim of the sessions is to help you create an open culture to reduce stigma and allow everyone to get the support they need quickly.