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Good mental health in the workplace

A recent tweet from Madalyn Parker, a web developer for a Michigan-based chat software company, went viral.

Madalyn made the bold decision to not just take time off to focus on her emotional wellbeing, but to also be honest with her colleagues about it. Her boss’s sympathetic response to her email explaining this was so overwhelming she took a screenshot and put it on Twitter. The tweet has now received more than 50,000 likes and retweets and has re-ignited the important discussion about our personal battles with emotional wellness.

Statistics released by the Mental Health Foundation have indicated that one in six workers are affected by conditions like anxiety and depression in the UK alone – and yet, in spite of the debilitating effects that come with mental health issues, we still don’t take the time off work when we need to.

It is hard to be honest about mental health in the typical workplace. In situations like this, it is easier to pass it off as ‘not feeling well’ but as has been made abundantly and wonderfully clear by this CEO’s response, things are changing. Working in a place that understands the needs of its staff can make all the difference.

Being in a supportive environment, somewhere you know you can have fun and enjoy office life, significantly lowers the chances of emotional exhaustion, thus reducing knock-on effects at work and everywhere else in your life.

Speak to me about incorporating wellbeing in the workplace whether that be a wake-up stretch, lunchtime meditation or post-work flow. Gestures like these – no matter what field you or your company are working in – reassure anyone suffering from a mental health condition that it’s okay to speak up and that they’re in safe hands.

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