You could not help but notice yesterday that it was World Mental Health Day: a global day to raise awareness against the social stigma against mental health. And it certainly did with people across the world sharing their own mental health issues.
With this in mind, on the blog today, we look at the impact of anxiety and depression and the pledges that we are making to support all our team here at Stowe – not just on World Mental Health Day but whenever they need it.
Nobody sets out searching for anxiety and depression. Just like that, it finds you, overwhelms you, and you go from feeling strong and in control to feeling vulnerable and small.
The world becomes a scarier place, noises become louder, your mind searches for danger and finds it at every corner. Cars, people, music, colours are more vivid, more daunting. You are on red alert. Your heart races, your hands go clammy, your breath shortens, your chest tightens and your minds spins, and spins, and spins.
Or maybe everything slows down, gets darker with less meaning. You wake to grey, you walk through your day in grey and sleep in grey. You are there but on the edge of it all, looking down at the life beneath you. And it feels bleak.
Then a hand, a kind smile, an understanding voice stretches out through the dark, the noise, the fear and the fog that overpowers you, and touches you.
Right there, at that moment, is the power of support.
The noises calm, the fog starts to lift, and the light begins to return.
We all need support. We all need to know it’s OK to not be OK. Next time someone asks how you are don’t say fine. Tell them.
Launched yesterday, our new mental health awareness and support initiative will ensure that support is available to all our team, when they need it. We will have a trained Mental Health First Aider or Champion at each of our 17 offices. Along with a programme of information and support.
Most importantly we want to break down the stigma of mental health. We are all touched by mental health issues. And, we pledge that everyone who works for Stowe can be open about their mental health, and ask for support if they need it