“Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises 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” World Health Organisation
Mental health is a basic human right. And yet by 2020 depression is expected to be the second biggest burden of disease around the world after heart disease. That’s why we know we have to promote resilience, wellbeing and good mental health. If our whole community is well and resilient, we as individuals are more likely to meet our own life challenges successfully. Social and emotional wellbeing means being able to enjoy life, to cope with stress and sadness, to fulfil goals and to feel connected to others.
Just as physical health is not merely the absence of disease, mental health is not merely the absence of mental illness. Now is a must that all employers provide a mentally, healthy workplace in the same way that they must provide a physically healthy one!
Improved community-wide understanding can only help reduce stigma and discrimination, as will prevention and early intervention in the community.
We were recently inspired by Todd Hopwood’s Staff Mental Form. Everyday he would put his score on the office wall to bring openness about mental health. This is a great way to start conversations in the workplace and reassure us where to turn for help.
John Brogden the Chairman of Lifeline Australia states that ”While mental health may not start at work, it manifests in the workplace thus employers must “do the right thing: The law is black and white: we must provide a mentally healthy workplace in the same way we must provide a physically healthy one!”