The World Health Organization claims that mental health issues are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death in first world countries.
With 1 in 4 people in any 12 month period experiencing a mental health issue it is estimated that over 50% of people, through the course of their life time, will suffer from short or long term mental illness.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, (Australian Government, 2017) suicide is the biggest cause of death in people between 14 and 44 years of age.
With this in mind it is impossible for workplaces, educational institutions, communities and individuals to not be affected either directly or indirectly. Now is the time to learn about what to do to prevent and minimize the concerns raised about this increasing workplace and social concern.
However, people with mental health issues (mental illness) who know they can be open about their lived experience and be supported at work, take significantly fewer days off work.
If businesses and the community continue to ignore the warning signs of individuals who may be struggling with the effects of trauma and mental health concerns, the issues may become more complex and difficult to manage. However, if people are proactive and put into place education, training, workplace and social adjustments to ensure that people do not become unwell, are valued, understood and supported, they recover faster and the outcomes will be positive, enlightening and empowering for all concerned.
Consider the famous people throughout history who have had ‘mental illness’ and the amazing achievements they have brought to our way of living. Where would we be without them? Who are the next Michelangelo’s, Leonardo da Vince’s, John Nash’s, Beethoven’s etc. they may well be in your family, workplace or community?