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Taking the leap 🪂 for a cause close to my heart!

After a personal journey with a major health challenge, I’ve committed to skydive for the Mental Health Foundation, the UK’s leading charity for mental health.

Prepare for an adventure of a lifetime – a skydive that ticks a key item off my bucket list while championing a cause close to my heart mental health awareness.

Having undergone a life-altering medical procedure to remove a pituitary tumour last year, I’ve personally experienced the importance of understanding mental health, managing self-care effectively, and being aware of where to find help and support. The journey to recovery would have been immensely challenging without these elements.

This experience has inspired me to support the Mental Health Foundation, the UK’s leading charity dedicated to enhancing mental health for everyone. Their focus on prevention and commitment to identifying and tackling the root causes of mental health issues allow individuals and communities to endure and thrive.

Now, I stand at the precipice of an exhilarating leap of faith – a skydive from my bucket list—more than a personal accomplishment.

However, I need your support to make this a success. Your contributions can make a significant difference through donations or sharing this cause on your social media. Let’s take this plunge together and help raise the bar for mental health. Every leap, share, and donation takes us one step closer to a world where mental health is properly understood and supported.

To donate, simply head over to my Just Giving page. Once you’re there, select the amount you wish to contribute and click ‘GIVE Now’. You can choose to donate as a guest or create an account if you’d like to keep track of your contributions. Either way, every penny counts and is greatly appreciated. After donating, you can share the cause on your social media platforms, which can help us reach a broader audience. Thank you in advance for your generosity; your support makes a difference.

 

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Train as a Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®) and receive 3 years of certification

This course is for those who would like to become an MHFAider®, whether in the workplace or as individuals, to gain the knowledge and skills to spot signs of people experiencing poor mental health and be confident to start a conversation and signpost a person to appropriate support.

In addition to the course, you will become part of the largest MHFAider® community in England, gaining access to resources, ongoing learning and 24/7 digital support through the MHFAider Support App® to give you the tools and knowledge you need to carry out the role effectively and confidently whether that be in your workplace a volunteer role or in the community.

How to book

Click here to reserve your place, or if you would like more information on individual and group bookings, feel free to get in touch at enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or contact Mike at 0114 670 081.

Course outcomes

As an MHFAider®, you will be able to:

  • Recognise those experiencing poor mental health and provide them with first-level support and early intervention
  • Encourage a person to identify and access sources of professional help and other supports
  • Practise active listening and empathy
  • Have a conversation with improved mental health literacy around language and stigma
  • Discuss the MHFAider® role in depth, including boundaries and confidentiality
  • Practise self-care
  • Know how to use the MHFAider Support App®
  • Know how to access a dedicated text service provided by Shout and ongoing learning opportunities with MHFA England

Structure

  • The online 2-day course is structured across four flexible sessions covering 14 hours of content in total.​
  • Each session is a maximum of 3hrs 45mins.
  • Learning takes place through a mix of instructor-led training, group discussions individual and group activities.
  • Each session builds on the previous one, enabling the learner to gain confidence in supporting others using the MHFA action plan.
  • Numbers are limited to 16 per course so learners can be kept safe and supported whilst they learn.
  • Learning content will be as accessible and inclusive as possible (please contact if additional support is required).

Takeaways

  • Everyone who completes this course gets the following:
  • A hard copy workbook to support their learning throughout the course
  • A digital manual to refer to whenever they need it​ after completing the course
  • A wallet-sized reference card with the Mental Health First Aid action plan​
  • A digital MHFAider® certificate
  • Access to the MHFAider Support App® for three years
  • Access to ongoing learning opportunities, resources and exclusive events ​
  • The opportunity to be part of the largest MHFAider® community in England

How to book

Click here to reserve your place, or if you would like more information on individual and group bookings, feel free to get in touch at enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or contact Mike at 0114 670 081.

New course and benefits

The workplace has changed for people and organisations. In the last few years, we’ve seen a global pandemic, economic downturns, cost of living pressures, adaptation to hybrid working the great resignation and a recruitment crisis. It has taken a toll on employees, and now – more than ever – they need mental health support in the workplace.

Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders®) are crucial to helping boost employee wellbeing as we adjust to a profoundly changed workplace environment. But while MHFAiders® work to support others, they need support too.

At MHFA England, providing support, building confidence and growing a community to drive change is crucial to us. It isn’t a footnote or a half-hearted line in the small print. We’ve spent 15 years generating conversation around workplace mental health, and we understand that being an effective MHFAider® requires learning and support beyond training.

That’s why we offer ongoing support to help MHFAiders® feel confident and empowered – long after they’ve completed their training course.

Additionally, MHFAiders® receive access to exclusive events to continue developing their support for your workplace beyond the training course.

  • The MHFAider Support App® provides training resources and ongoing learning opportunities so that MHFAiders® can improve their support skills on the job.
  • MHFAiders® can help organise their roles with reminders and secure conversation journaling to reflect on their work safely.
  • The MHFAider Support App® works to support the MHFAider® own mental health – the resources within can teach critical self-care skills with the emotion tracker function allowing them to chart their own wellbeing.
  • The app provides 24/7 text support for when MHFAiders® are feeling overwhelmed or need guidance for certain situations.
  • MHFAiders® have access to regular online events that provide further learning and support, allowing them to continue to perform their role confidently and effectively long after receiving their initial training.

Cancellation Policy

  • Payment must be made before attending the course, as this will convert you to a delegate and trigger the provision of your course resources.
  • Confirmation of payment and your booking will be confirmed by email. If you have not received this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
  • To cancel or reschedule, please be aware that only courses cancelled within 48 hours of booking can be refunded.
  • No refund is available on any booking cancellation before the course start date after the 48-hour cooling-off period.
  • A course booking can be rescheduled up to 7 days before the course start date. This can be rescheduled to either an online course or face-to-face.

How to book

Click here to reserve your place, or if you would like more information on individual and group bookings, feel free to get in touch at enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or contact Mike at 0114 670 081.

3 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health When Working From Home

If you’re stuck working from home, unable to see your work colleagues from day to day, you may find yourself struggling with your mental health.

This is understandable, as often, just seeing others can brighten your day. Very few want to be stuck at home all day, let alone have to work from home every day. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

Consider these ways to look after your mental health when working from home.

1. Try to Get into a Routine

It can be a challenge and isolating to work from home. Often, you may find your attention wandering, or you may be missing your work colleagues.

A routine can help you focus on your tasks.

Use these strategies:

  • Have a space for work that is free of any distractions.
  • Set a routine to get started, take regular breaks, including lunch, and finish work at a reasonable time.
  • Avoid working in your pyjamas.
  • Set specific tasks for the day and prioritise them. Do the most important tasks first.
  • When you finish work, clean up your workspace as you would in an office.
  • If you’re homeschooling your children, it may be a good idea to let your managers know. You’ll want to set up a routine of when you can work and give your children the attention they need.

2. Keep In Touch With Colleagues

To avoid becoming isolated while working from home, keep in touch with colleagues formally and in a more social one.

Try these techniques:

  • Discuss with your colleagues when it is best to contact you and try to remain available during these times.
  • Use MS Teams, Zoom, Google Meet or other video conferencing platforms for formal discussions.
  • Follow up any video calls with a quick note to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the actions that need to be taken.
  • You can also use video calling for more informal chats or use other messenger services if it is more appropriate.
  • Check-in with the rest of the team at the end of the workday to get updates. These updates might be work-related, or you might use this time for personal updates.

Try to keep your work and social life separate. When working from home, it is easy for your work and social life to merge.

Not all of your colleagues will appreciate you sharing everything with them, so respect their boundaries, just as you expect them to respect yours.

3. Use Any Support Available

Working from home can be challenging, so if there is support available, make the most of it:

  • Many employers will have support available for their employees, with dedicated apps and websites offering support.
  • Suppose you are currently struggling with a physical or mental health condition. In that case, your employer may be able to make reasonable adjustments to your work schedule, offer additional support from managers or other colleagues, and provide equipment if needed.
  • Look at the self-care techniques you’ve used that have worked for you in the past. Sometimes, you will have to be flexible, especially if you are stuck at home. For example, if you would usually go to the gym to relieve your issues, you could try working out from home using an online class.

Some people will thrive in that environment while others will struggle. Keep these tips in mind, especially if you’re struggling. They can help you remain productive while you’re stuck at home.

I’ve created an easy, effective, robust system that anyone suffering from a lack of confidence, motivation or resilience could immediately apply and benefit from when they work with me. I help people rediscover their identity to feel physically robust and better equipped mentally; ultimately, they feel better control of their lives.

Please get in touch with me directly for more information about how this can work for you. Email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk  or call 0114 2 670 081.

Self Care

What is self-care, and why it’s important?

Self Care The term self-care is growing in popularity, but do you know what it really means in practice and considerations that will directly benefit your confidence – mental health and wellbeing. 

Self-care is the habit of consistently and consciously improving your physical and mental wellbeing. 

What are examples of self-care?

Any activity that you do to make yourself feel cared for or better can be regarded as self-care, such as going for a walk, having a massage, or visiting the dentist. 

Why the importance of Self-Care?

We spend more time planning holidays, decorating our homes, buying new clothes for our wardrobes or planning a wedding than we do for ourselves, why do you think that is? 

You might say you lead a hectic life and you don’t put yourself first, especially if you have a family with multiple duties, a single parent, a stressful job, or a long commute to work. However, taking care of yourself will make you feel better, and the better you are, the more confident you will be in all aspects of your life – from relationships to work.

Self-care doesn’t have to involve an enormous commitment in time, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. It could be relaxing in a bath, reading a motivational book, taking time out to practice mindfulness. It’s about committing to putting yourself first. 

The benefits of self-care?

A significant part of self-care is committing to looking after your whole self and becoming more aligned with what you need. Whether it’s more exercise, getting more quality sleep, visiting a healthcare expert to assist with any aches, pains or niggles. Your self-care programme should focus on looking after your mental, emotional, physical health and wellbeing.

  • Self-care can reduce depression, anxiety and stress. 
  • Creating time for relaxing activities, such as practising mindfulness or yoga, plus listening to music, are more familiar self-care pursuits. 
  • Activities to make you feel more relaxed and help reduce depression, stress and anxiety and lift your spirits.

Self-care can boost your resilience and self-confidence 

Throughout your life, you’ll face challenges, whether in your professional or personal life.

A key component of being resilient is understanding that change and setbacks are a part of everyday life.

Psychologists have identified circumstances that form a resilient person. Among them are:

  • A positive attitude.
  • The ability to direct emotions.
  • The ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. 

People who are more resilient view difficult situations as a ‘challenge’ to overcome. They view mistakes and failure as lessons to be learned from and as opportunities for development and growth.

While we cannot always avoid them, we can be flexible, remain open and willing to change, adapt and evolve. Self-esteem and confidence play a key component in the recovery from challenging situations. Remember to constantly remind yourself of your strengths and be confident in your ability and approach to react and deal with the setbacks you’ll encounter.

Self-care preserves your mental health and wellbeing

Prioritising self-care can assist in controlling mental health concerns and might even prevent them from getting worse.

Of course, self-care is not a replacement for professional help. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, stress or another mental health issue, it’s advisable to seek help from your doctor or a health and wellbeing professional. 

Nevertheless, deciding to look to take care of your wellbeing will improve your quality of life. 

Self-care can lead to a better relationship with yourself

Self-care is about looking internally at yourself and your mental wellbeing. The relationship you have with yourself is vital to your mental health and wellbeing, plus developing happy and healthy relationships with others. 

Most people will look outwards towards others for friendship, love, and happiness, rather than looking internally at themselves and developing self-love and self-care. 

Practising self-care and being good to yourself regularly is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself.

“The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” Robert Holden

Action: 

I’ve created an easy, effective, robust system that anyone suffering from a lack of confidence, motivation or resilience could immediately apply and benefit from when they work with me. I help people rediscover their identity to feel physically robust and better equipped mentally; ultimately, they feel in better control of their lives.

Please get in touch with me directly for more information about how this can work for you. Email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or call 07967 052585.

What Will You Miss This Christmas?

This Christmas will be slightly strange for many, as we try to navigate the restrictions that have been imposed because of the pandemic. 

Spare a thought for those whose families reside further afield, in different parts of the country—or, in some cases, in other countries.

I hear stories on a daily basis from clients who haven’t seen their loved ones this year, due to travel restrictions and different tier arrangements imposed in different parts of the country.

“I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas, with a note on them saying ‘Toys not included”. Bernard Manning.

I have many friends, relatives and family that live in London and the South East. Ordinarily, at this time of year, I would be booking train tickets, securing favourable rates in hotels, and I’d be packing my suitcase—excited to enjoy some yuletide cheer in the ‘big smoke’.

My diary would be filled with an abundance of ventures, which mainly involve fun, laughter and excitement.

A traditional trip to Winter Wonderland with my daughters, for example, in the heart of London—Hyde Park—where you can immerse yourself in all things festive, and where an array of attractions, activities and entertainment for all ages and visitors can be found.

This would be supplemented by a visit to the theatre; I usually book tickets up to a year in advance. We’ve seen various plays and musicals, such as Memphis, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Ghost, Wicked and the Lion King.

Then there’s ‘Dreamgirls’… 

The film, based on the 1981 Broadway play, tells the story of a small, black record label and its star singers. Their success crosses over to the pop charts, and it’s rumoured to be loosely based on The Supremes. The movie received eight Academy Award nominations and won three Golden Globe awards.

This is a family favourite and, potentially, number one in our list of top 10 movies. We made a pact that, if the movie was ever adapted for the West End, we’d get tickets.

So, you can imagine my reaction when I discovered that the play was coming to London. I secretly booked tickets for the Savoy Theatre.

Proud Father moment: walking towards the theatre, in the distance, the girls caught their first glimpse of what was to come that evening. They also had a surprise for me, and they demanded that I open a large, carefully-gift-wrapped box in the theatre stalls.

The smiles on our faces were priceless. Moments like that stay with you for the rest of your life.

Drinks reserved for the interval, souvenir programme purchased, we made our way to the front of the auditorium to be seated. The band started playing, the curtain was raised. It was showtime.

The performers came on stage, singing and dancing, against a backdrop of music and smoke.

‘Bring it on!’ I thought…

However, it didn’t really get going. It seemed rather flat, and certainly not as inspiring as the movie.

The stage adaptation didn’t quite live up to my expectations. In fact, it wasn’t worthy of being in ‘our top 10’. That said, Amber Riley, who played Effie in the lead role, saved the day, due to her incredible voice that ripped through the auditorium. The first act closed with the barnstorming ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’. Enter, stage right, Jennifer Hudson; click here to listen to her version.

I wondered how my girls felt. We nervously chatted about the film and gave our personal critiques of the performances, as we do. Then the gloves came off. The outcome was unanimous: we thought that the movie was so much better than the stage production.

I’m already seeking out deeds and activities for Christmas 2021 to add to my dream board and bucket list.

I do hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you make the most of what you have and the people around you.

Are you looking to make some changes in your personal or professional life in 2021? Maybe you lack confidence and you’re not sure how you can achieve this. Get in touch with me and book your free 40-minute discovery call.

Telephone 07967 052585 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

 

mental health at work Sheffield Christmas

Mental Health At Work At Christmas Time

mental health at work Sheffield Christmas

Surviving Christmas Without It Weighing On Your Mental Health

The festive break is not too far away, and the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. If you’re like me, you may be thinking “How am I going to get everything done?” Christmas brings its challenges and that people can find the period quite stressful.

During a month where energy, money and ‘happy appearances’ are overstretched, unhealthy food and alcohol tend to be readily available. It’s understandable if your mental health can tend to fluctuate.

Things can be challenging if you have lost a loved one, or about to commence divorce proceedings, if you’re unhappy at work, or living on your own for the first Time.

Often disputes with your family or relatives can ignite when you’re compelled to spend more time with them.

Here’s how to survive the Christmas season this month without it weighing down on your Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Seek Help and Ask for Support

Arguably one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year can be the run-up to the festive break. You’re facing clearing the workload on your desk to achieve your bosses’ deadlines. Don’t be afraid to seek help and be realistic with what you are capable of producing.

Plan Ahead

Evaluate your workload, review everything you’ve got to do. Set a list of priorities and identify what really has to be done before the festive break and what can be deferred until you return. If you don’t have time to get everything done before you go on leave, speak to your manager to discuss solutions.

Time Management

For any new job requests that hit your in-tray, don’t feel obliged to take on these tasks. Manage other people’s expectations about when you can realistically complete the task. To your relief, they may not have sight of your workload nor aware of your current schedule, deadlines and priorities.

Take Time Out

Ensure that you take breaks away from your desk or workstation. Exercise and regular breaks throughout the day are essential for your mental health as well as physical health. A good guideline is to aim for 90 minutes of work cycles throughout the day (Ultradium Rhythm) followed by 20 minutes of rest.

Flexible Working

You may want to consider, asking for flexible working. National Christmas Jumper Day Friday 13th December, office parties, lots of fun and distractions. Schedule all office activities in your diary in advance so that you can carefully navigate your way through this period.

Don’t be a humbug or party pooper coming up with excuses why you can’t attend. Manage your working day, come in early or come in later and get your work done in quieter periods. Many employers are also allowing employees to work from home, find out if this available for you.

Christmas and New Year

If you’re working between Christmas and the New Year, have a list of Duty Managers or people that you can contact should you require any assistance. The office tends to be less busy, staffing levels lower, and some people enjoy working at this time of year due to fewer distractions therefore can more work done. You can also use this time to catch up on projects and that dreaded admin.

Christmas Cheer

Relax, unwind and enjoy. Make sure you treat yourself. Surround yourself with friends and family, try not to ponder and think about what’s going on at work, a more challenging prospect is not to talk about work.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT

Check your work emails unless it’s essential. If you have to check, restrict the number of times and consider turning off the notifications.

Health & Wellbeing

If you don’t have an exercise routine, try not to over-indulge on unhealthy food or drink. It’s vital to use your holiday to relax and unwind but trying to stay active should make returning to work less worrying.

Plan your Return

  • Create a list and prioritise important tasks, so you know what you will need to do on your return.
  • It’s advisable to leave a couple of days free of meetings and deadlines so you can hit the ground running on the first day back.
  • If you created a checklist of tasks carried forward to the New Year, make an immediate start to gain momentum.
  • Whether you’re returning to work the day after Boxing Day or have decided to take a longer break, don’t let your usual routine slip too much.

Hopefully, these tips will help you return to work fully refreshed and energised.

I wish you a lovely festive break!

If you’re considering raising awareness within your organisation on Mental Health or Health and Wellbeing, please get in touch and book your free 40-minute consultation.

Telephone 0114 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

wellbeing in workplace Sheffield neurodiversity

Neurodiversity – Wellbeing In The Workplace

wellbeing in workplace Sheffield neurodiversity

I was recently invited to co-host an HR Future Leaders Seminar in Leeds, organised by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and Elevation Recruitment Group, on Neurodiversity in the Workplace, which is becoming an increasingly popular topic within HR.

What Is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity refers to people with genetic differences such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Tourettes and various forms of Autism such as Aspergers.

Neurodivergent people are not unwell; neither do they have a syndrome; it is a difference. But it is a difference that can leave people more susceptible to mental ill-health, which can be created or heightened by inadequate working environments.

It’s estimated that 1 in 7 people in the UK is neurodivergent, inferring their brain functions, learns and processes information differently than others.

Neurodiversity In The Workplace

A survey conducted by the CIPD in 2018 discovered that 10% of HR professionals in the UK acknowledged Neurodiversity in their organisation’s employee management systems. Alarmingly, 72% said Neurodiversity wasn’t included.

A growing number of prominent companies in the USA have reformed their HR processes to access neurodiverse talent; among them are SAP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft and Ford.

Managers at SAP say that it is already paying off in ways far beyond reputational enhancement. Including productivity gains, quality improvement boosts in innovative capabilities and significant increases in employee engagement.

Companies have a legal obligation to undertake ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the workplace and the employee’s role that will remove or minimise any disadvantage to them.

The Equality Act 2010  protects individuals against disability discrimination for issues often referred to as ‘hidden disabilities’.

The more common difficulties associated with neurodiverse conditions in the workplace can include, time management, planning and prioritising, organisation, getting distracted by background music, poor working memory (the ability to hold multiple things in your attention at one time). These very often cause stress, and it might be stress that brings them to your attention.

Concentration, excess stress, issues with timekeeping, maintaining a schedule and physical illness are all conditions covered under the term neurodiversity.

Some thrive in a working environment and build resilience towards the difficulties they face, whereas others may struggle to complete specific tasks because of their condition.

In these instances, disclosing these challenges to an employer can allow them to support an individual in the workplace.

  • 24% of the UK prison population has ADHD
  • 16% of people in the UK with Autism have a job
  • 1% of corporate managers have dyslexia compared to a population norm of 10%

How Can I Help?

  • Ask questions to find out how best to help and support your neurodiverse employees. Everyone with a neurodiverse condition is different, and they often have particular strengths
  • Assess the working environment
  • Implement a wellbeing policy
  • Train managers and team leaders how to recognise and spot signs and symptoms
  • Identify employees with neurological variances whom frequently suffer from mental health issues, including stress, anxiety and depression
  • Ensure that you contribute towards creating an accepting and nurturing working environment
  • Provide an environment which encourages employees to disclose any neurological condition
  • Awareness-raising sessions that can help manage your sickness absence rates and improve line management skills, both of which can, in turn, lead to increased productivity
  • Appoint a buddy or mentor
  • Review the employee life cycle and journey

SAP’s neurodiversity program forced managers to get to know their employees and become better managers. Managers also began thinking more deeply about leveraging the talents of all employees through greater sensitivity to individual needs.

We understand that the situations of stress-related absence are on the increase in the working environment.

When this occurs, try and discover if the employee has a neurodiverse condition. Be sympathetic; they may often not know themselves or be embarrassed to talk.

Access to work grants is a pot of government funding support based on your needs, for reasonable adjustments to be carried out. To assist with covering the cost of adequate support in the workplace or getting to and from work. Also, software to translate speech into text and vice versa, life coaching to develop coping strategies to help employees better manage their condition.

If you’re considering raising awareness in neurodiversity, mental health at work, or health and wellbeing in the workplace, please get in touch and book your FREE 40-minute consultation.

Telephone Sheffield, 0114 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

workplace wellbeing Sheffield mental health at work

Workplace Wellbeing – Mental Health At Work

workplace wellbeing Sheffield mental health at workHow many times during a week have you found yourself saying, “I’m fine” to a colleague or friend when in fact you don’t really mean it?

I asked this question earlier this week to a group of employees during a 1-day Mental Health At Work Awareness training session that I was hosting near Sheffield.

The majority of delegates replied that it was common to say, “I’m fine” or “I’m OK”. It appears to be the default unconscious position, so as not to open the conversation further and bring attention to themselves.

A study of adults commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation found that on average adults will say “I’m fine” 14 times a week, though just 19% actually mean it.

While most of us may be happy openly discussing feelings, many of us are not being honest and sticking to a mental script.

This invents an illusion of support. Outwardly we’re habitually checking in with each other, but underneath that, many of us feel incapable of saying how we’re feeling.

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health challenge in a year.

In England, 1 in 6 people reports encountering a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

Worries about things like money, jobs, relationships, the recession and Brexit concern can make it harder for people to cope.

We all possess some form of mental health, and when it’s okay, we have a sense of purpose, motivation, drive and resilience.

Overall ability to cope with whatever challenges and hurdles that life and work throw up.

We all undergo tough times, we become apprehensive, agitated, angry and experience so many different feelings and emotions.

These feelings usually pass, but occasionally they develop into stress, depression or anxiety.

For some, this can be more challenging, and long-term conditions such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, paranoia and dissociation disorders, these can affect our ability to perform and engage at work at a consistently high level.

Health and Wellbeing is an issue that the NHS is struggling to cope with.

The Independent reported that people who are seeking help with mental health concerns are waiting in excess of eight weeks to see a GP again after their original appointment.

That’s why employees must recognise that good mental health and proper managerial training, processes and structures are pivotal, and there is growing evidence that organisations that implement health and wellbeing procedures are more productive.

In fact, implementing and addressing health and wellbeing concerns at work increases productivity by as much as 12%.

Thursday 10th October was World Mental Health Day. An opportunity for all of us to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma.

I read a book last year, ahead of speaking at the 4th International Conference on Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management, called Dying for a Paycheck written by Jeffrey Pfeffer.

The author makes clear that the environment we work in is just as important as the one where we live. There is a great quote below taken from the book, which sums up nicely for me the importance of workplace wellbeing.

Your supervisor is more important to your health than your family doctor –

Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller.

If you think you’re suffering from stress, anxiety, depression or any form of mental health and you are finding it difficult to cope in your workplace, the first step is to talk to a colleague that you trust, your manager or an HR advisor.

Workplace wellbeing is at the top of many companies’ agendas as the impact of work-related stress, illness and mental health issues are better understood.

There are actions that we can all do individually to reduce our exposure to increased mental health within the workplace such as, have a proper lunch break and avoid eating your lunch at your desk, identify your ‘stressors’; are you continually working late in the office or taking work home to complete? How much exercise are you currently doing? What do you do outside of work leisure and social pursuits? And spend more time with family and friends.

I typically help SME’s whose employees are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression and are struggling to cope. If you’re considering raising awareness with your employees or you’d like to learn more about how you can reignite your life and regain your competitive advantage, please feel free to get in touch and book your FREE 40-minute consultation.

Telephone 0114 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk