mental health and employers

Employers will need Mental Health training by 2020

I’ve always worked when I’ve been well. My Dad instilled such a strong work ethic in me that I become really detached and unengaged when unemployment falls upon me. I’ve always tried hard to find work and tried hard to do well in my job whatever I turn my hands to. Yet there’s been something niggling in the back of my mind for a long time. There have been a few jobs in the past that have contributed to my ‘unwellness’ due to bad management. And it’s not just the Mentally unwell or unstable that it affects it’s normal people with no history too.

I’ve been saying for a long time that Mental health matters and that it’s four cases in four and not one in four. Why do I say this? Well it’s because our minds matter too. You can’t put us in a highly stressful situation and expect that we’ll come out of it smelling of roses. When you watch us do stupid and highly reckless things it’s more than likely because something in our lives isn’t running smoothly. Yet a lot of employers don’t think of their organisations as a living breathing entity; merely a business with expendable people at the end of it.

In a business who is the “most” important staff member? If you think it’s the CEO then you are doing something wrong. The members that are closest to the public, the ones that actually talk to your customers, make sure your customers are happy, and tend to their needs. When you think of your staff as expendable then you will have a high turnaround with very little loyalty from them. Why? Because you show no loyalty. A leader must lead by example which includes being loyal to your staff.

The last organisation I worked with was absolutely fantastic. The Chief Officer effectively turned the organisation on it’s head. We were a charitable organisation and he acknowledged that the most important people were the volunteers. Because they helped us for free, and similarly our reputation was steered by the volunteers. They were the faces that the public saw day in, day out. The exact same can be said for any other business.

Yet other organisations aren’t that great. I once worked for a manager that thought the best way to get us to be productive was to shout at us. To point out to everyone our flaws in the job and the mistakes we have made. This was the supervisors doing of course. They were angry, angry at life I expect. They couldn’t see that no-one really wanted to work for them. All they could see was that we weren’t doing our jobs properly. They didn’t want to look at the reasons why we weren’t. Only that we weren’t and that was the problem for them. I started to get worse. Take days off, take more smoke breaks, take more liberties. A manager should look at the beneath issues when tackling the surface. Some do that now. Others, not so much.

Your team; think of them as a living, breathing entity. One that you must treat on the whole and also individually. If your team isn’t meeting their projected targets then why? And who is the broken chain? Why are they broken? Is it a quick fix or a long term solution? When you think of repairing the chain rather than replacing the link then your outlook becomes entirely different. Because then you are proving yourself loyal to staff members and they will become loyal to you. People will really respect your attitude to get things done whilst not leaving them behind or worse.

So we need to learn a bit more about the human mind. Why do we act the way we do and how can we help others that have lost their way. I’m not saying you need to treat your business like a Psychiatric hospital, only that you gain a better understanding of the factors that impact your staff on an under the surface level. We recognise that losing a member of family can be difficult for staff members but what about if one of your staff is going through a difficult breakup? moving house? Getting married? Clashing with other staff? or even analysing your own behaviour.

Analysing your own behaviour is a great tool to have. Mainly because your actions have a great impact on your team. If I went in drunk and not caring then your staff would have the same attitude. Same with anger, happiness and a whole range of emotions. Lead by example. That’s what leaders do! I’ve saw managers walk in with a chip on the shoulders because they’ve had a bad day at home, and that has impacted the work of the team. Your own behaviour matters.

Thanks for reading.

Raymond 🙂

My path to change

My path to change

It’s a long and complex story this one. It wasn’t just straight forward change. There were lots and lots stagnation points in my life. I have a lazy streak that’s absolutely horrible and I can end up doing next to nothing all day. However, I have learned to try and fix this when I notice it happening. So this will be the most detailed explanation I have ever given on how I changed my life around from the spiralling mess it once was. I’ll start at the beginning.

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suicide. My journey to the end

Suicide. My journey to the end.

Life for me in my early twenties was like being inside a tumble dryer. I can’t describe it any better than that. It would always feel as if I had worked through one set of life problems only to have it all thrown back on top of me in an endless dry cycle. You’ve heard my bereavement story and my depression story. This is my suicide story. I’ve only attempted it once, but even now, 16 years later I can still see it on my doctors notes. It still sits there like a permanent black stain on an otherwise clean record.

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my youthful internal struggle

My youthful internal struggle

Since I’ve been blogging I’ve made a tremendous friend circle and I’m learning SO much from them. One lady I met combines trauma therapy with writing. It’s a very interesting combination and I’ve been watching her intently. So I thought I’d share my story of trauma with you in hope I gain something by writing this. My path to destruction. Please enjoy!

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depression is an evil liar

Depression is an evil Liar

Many moons ago I suffered from deep, deep depression. Imagine the kind of depression that walks into your life out of nowhere and slowly kills a part of you. When that part is gone then it jumps inside of you, replacing what once was a part of you and now exists as a deep dark void in a pit of bile and nastiness. Slowly, it envelopes your soul and all that you once were. You become a mere shadow of your former self. This is what I had. I’ll tell you my story.

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Why do we hate so much and care so little

Why do we hate so much and care so little?

The world has changed. The world has got up and changed in a big ol’ hurry. And not like the slow progression you can read through the history books over a Millennia, I mean actual immediate change. In less than 20 years we’ve  went from the talkative, social and integrated society that we all knew and loved. To the interconnected but disconnected from reality digital whirlwind that we exist as now.

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