Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
I love the phrase “those that recover the loudest, save those that die the quietest.” It means so much to me because I bottled up my own mental health struggles for years and years until it became too much to carry. Once I started talking about it, I literally haven’t stopped!
So I decided to lead the company with my own experiences of mental health to better provide support to our team.
Millstream has become a company that priorities mental health above revenue, profit and loss and those other traditional business markers that demonstrate success. Success for me is knowing my team has my back whenever I’m struggling to smile, right through to when I’m paralysed with depression. We talk openly about it nearly every day because you can’t switch it off for work time.
I asked a member of the team to share their own experience with anxiety in the workplace and how we as a team can offer support.
“Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear. It can come in different forms and have different triggers. For some, the trigger is speaking in a group but for others, it’s feeling like you’re a burden to the world.
“As someone who suffers with anxiety, it can be really tough to face “easy” day-to-day tasks, especially in the workplace. People with anxiety tend to overthink a lot, meaning they need reassurance more than the average person.
“To make them feel at ease and heard, have an open conversation to understand what they need from the workplace. Some people benefit from having structure to their day or knowing that they are a valued part of the team and that their thoughts and feelings are worthy.
“The key is to be patient with them because it’s not just a feeling, it’s all consuming.”
My advice for others is to look after your colleagues, not just for this week but forever because there is so much more to life than work. Take ‘Mental Health at Work’ training, listen to podcasts, chat with sufferers and learn how to talk to colleagues without judgement and with compassion.
You can find more advice on the Mental Health Foundation website.