2016-05-20 15:05:02 | Uncategorized
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week which is a fantastic opportunity to make sure we are having open discussions about mental health and how it can affect people.
At MINT we work with many young people with mental health issues including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, OCD, eating disorders and psychosis. There are a few concerns that we come across regularly and we thought it would be worth highlighting those in this week’s blog.
Firstly, many of the people we work with feel they are the only people experiencing a particular issue. Whilst no one else knows exactly how it feels to be you, mental health conditions are much more prevalent than people realise, with stats from MIND, the mental health charity, confirming that every year 1 in 4 people will have a mental health problem. So for every 4 people you know, at least one will have some experience of this, making mental health issues more common than many people expect.
Next, we regularly have young people say to us that they don’t know when to tell employers about their conditions, if at all. It is different for each person but generally we tend to recommend telling an employer at application stage if you feel there’s something that will affect you at work. Usually there is a question in application forms asking about disabilities and if there is anything you may want support for, which is the best place to tell them. This is not intended to be used as a deciding factor in whether you’re employed or not, but rather will be separated from the main body of the application form and kept in your employee records. Generally it is HR who will use this information to organise any reasonable adjustments or support required.
Another topic that regularly crops up is regarding discrimination due to a disability or health condition. This is illegal and absolutely should not be happening under the Equality Act 2010, but if you have concerns that you feel you’ve missed out on a job due to this in the past, it would seem that it’s best to avoid that particular employer if they’re not going to be supportive.
Finally for now, mental health can be so unpredictable and can flare up at any time and seemingly for no reason. We would recommend trying to speak to someone if this does happen, so that you’re not going through it alone. Talk to anyone you feel you can, a friend or family member, your MINT Job Coach, your GP, MIND. And try to discover something that works for you…it might be walking, meditation, painting, baking, different things work for different people. The important thing is not to go through it alone – get some support.
We hope everyone has a lovely weekend.