Mental Health Awareness Week
15th May – 21st May 2023
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme, as set by the Mental Health Foundation is “Anxiety”.
Anxiety is a common emotion that most of us, if not all, will experience in our lives but for some people (a little over 1 in 10 of the UK!) will experience “anxiety disorders”. Unlike general anxiety, anxiety disorders are when these emotions can get out of control and not only cause distress but can escalate into other Mental Health Conditions.
Common types of anxiety disorders include OCD, PTSD and Phobias but there are many types not as commonly talked about such as Health Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Skin Picking and Selective Mutism (but there are many more!) and like all Mental Health conditions, anxiety disorders can affect anyone at any stage in their life.
When talking about anxiety it can be easy to dismiss these feelings as “just worrying” but to the person experiencing an anxiety disorder it’s a lot more complex than that and this dismissal can be harmful – this is why for MH Awareness week organisations will be challenging this notion of “just anxiety” by sharing experiences, truths and resources.
So what can you do in the workplace?
Like other awareness days you can put together internal comms, review your wellbeing/sickness policies, invest in Mental Health first aiders and champions but the most important thing you can do? Don’t dismiss and listen!
It can be difficult to know where to start when wanting to understand this topic more but the below organisations have put together some excellent resources that not only explain this in more detail but also offer advice on what to do if you, or someone you know, is dealing with anxiety and/or a disorder – do check them out!