It was Mental Health Awareness Week from 10th to 16th May this year. You might think that the moment has passed, and I should be writing about something else, but mental health issues don’t confine themselves to a few days in late spring, of course – they exist all year round my business Partner Matt Byrne writes.
He is thinking about it now because of a recent situation that involved him. A good friend of his (we’ll call him John) has been suffering from depression on and off for most of his adult life, and things came to a head a few weeks ago. John had found the whole lockdown and working from home situation very difficult; the lack of human contact – at home and in the office – has affected him profoundly, to the point where he was unable to do his job.
His employers invited him to a meeting (via Teams) to discuss his options. Matt attended as well, to give backup if needed. The atmosphere was supportive, and the result of the meeting is that John is now doing a different job – in the same team but with less responsibility. This suits him better, at least for the time being until he can build his confidence up again.
I don’t think that John’s case is an isolated one. The pandemic has affected some people much more deeply than others, and there are likely to be many of us suffering in a similar way, perhaps in silence.
Mental health issues in the workplace can be difficult to resolve, and each situation is unique. Sensitive handling and balance are essential, keeping in mind both the well-being of the employee and the interests of the employer.
So, whilst focusing on career plans, business team dynamics we really must factor these realities into our thinking and if support is required, we at ABPM+ partner with a number of experts whom we can introduce you to if assistance and support is required.
Rej Abraham, Sarah Torrington, Matt Byrne, Alex Handford