Mental Health Issues have skyrocketed the past 18 months.
Around 1 in 5 (21%) adults experienced some form of depression in early 2021 (27 January to 7 March); this is an increase since November 2020 (19%) and more than double that observed before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (10%).
With all the changes, including restrictions, working from home, isolation, redundancies, businesses closing and uncertainty in the future, it’s no surprise people are finding their mental health affected by the pandemic.
The truth is, a lot of people who have never experienced mental health issues before, may very well find themselves in that situation.
There was a 29.7% decrease in all diagnoses by GPs in England during the pandemic period covered in this report (23 March to 31 August 2020) compared with the same period in 2019.
Those aged 45 to 54 years are the age group with the largest fall in the number of depression diagnoses (30.1% decrease).
All diagnostic statistics have fallen, for all illnesses, not just mental health.
However, without support from their GP how are these people going to manage it?
The group with the highest risk of suicide are men aged between 45-49.
Without recognising the signs and symptoms, and having a basic understanding about mental health, it’s much more likely many will reach that point of desperation, seeing no other way out.
This is why education in the workplace is so important.
Giving employees the tools and support in managing their own mental health, as well as looking out for others.
Having seen too many colleagues and friends get to that breaking point, knowing it could have been preventable, is exactly why Harold Floyd from Elite Force Safety, is so passionate about education.
During a 26 year career in the British Army, seeing conflict from Northern Ireland to Iraq and Afghanistan, living in close quarters with many predominantly male colleagues, looking back on friends lost, also highlights the missed warning signs, through lack of understanding.
Signs like drinking too much, withdrawing, reckless decisions and a steady decline in attitude, all serve as red flags, easily missed if you are not aware of the potential severity.
At work, we see these people most days, you are in the perfect environment to spot these signs, offer support, and prevent the loss of a life.
Too many people fly under the radar, and are not picked up before it’s too late.
Suicide is preventable, and we should be doing all we can to prevent it and support those who are in that devastating place with their mental health.
By putting a programme in place, you can really make a difference and support your employees and their families. Having a mental health first aider is not enough. Everyone needs to have an understanding of mental health, the managers need to be fully invested in implementing a programme to change the workplace culture. Breaking down the stigma and fully supporting all employees.
That’s how we really make a difference.
We often focus on Health and Safety, but Mental Health is as much Health and physical health.
If you want to make a difference to your workforce, contact Elite Force Safety for a consultation.