Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Mental Health in the Workplace conference takes place at County Hall, Maidstone

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Samantha Long | 10 October, 2018, 11:46

According to data from the World Health Organisation, 27 percent of the adult population in Europe has experienced at least one mental disorder in the past year, with symptoms including depression and anxiety.

One in five people are affected by a mental illness, yet few speak up because of the social stigma attached to it. Xero's goal with Wellbeing Leave is to give the more than 2000 Xero employees around the world access to more resources to focus on their personal wellness, and reduce the stigma attached to mental health in the workplace.

World Mental Health Day is organised by the World Health organisation and aims to raise awareness around mental health issues. Bringing attention to these kinds of abuse and discrimination, the Commission calls for a human rights-based approach to ensure that people with mental health conditions are not denied any of their fundamental human rights - not just to health but also to employment and education, among others. But that's a fallacy.

Dr Mikkelsen notes that "the area of mental health is still misunderstood, but now there is momentum and the highest possible recognition of mental health".

"In fact, this organization states that half of all mental illness begins at age 14, but most cases remain undetected".

"It's about giving that person a little lift", she added. So when mental disorders in the young are ignored, they can go on to ruin all aspects of their well-being in the future.

While it's important for individuals to look after their mental wellbeing, it's also crucial that employers make mental health a priority to support employees who may be struggling. Encouragingly, however, a greater number of managers recognise that looking after employees' mental health and wellbeing forms part of their responsibilities - 84 percent compared with 76 percent in 2016.

Why Are The Youth More Vulnerable?

Why is it that while most of us feel quite confident talking to family and friends about our physical aches and pains, we are not so comfortable to talk about our mental health?

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"They are bombarded with life and what it throws at them".

This demographic is also easily excitable, according to Dr Dutta. However, a lot of them are not treated.

Despite this alarming scenario, mental health continues to be a taboo topic with huge stigma attached to it.

Life Esidimeni, they say, is an example of poorly planned deinstitutionalisation.

Then there's the social media factor that has been dictating the lives of young people today.

The report shows that in many countries, people with mental disorders still routinely suffer gross human rights violations - including shackling, torture and imprisonment. It is now vital that we continue to talk about children's mental health.

When a child as young as six years old talks about stress or depression, it does not shock psychiatrists as this has become all too common. "Most of these issues come from inability to manage stress". "Sudden changes in sleep and appetite, crying, unexplained aches and pains, erratic time keeping, excessive risk-taking behaviour, disruptive and abusive behaviour, speaking about death, suicidal ideation and drug use are some of the signs you should watch out for", says Dr Dutta.

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