Mental Health in Business

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We are living in enlightened times.

Current generations are benefiting from the freedom to be more transparent in dealing with mental health.

I don’t think we are there yet. But I believe we are gaining momentum in this ongoing battle and seeing big changes in society’s perception of mental health.

In my father’s working life, you were not able to disclose a mental illness. It wasn’t even diagnosed.

Anybody detouring from the script of life was told to snap out of it, have a few drinks at the pub or resign. This included people being humiliated as weak or a nut.

There was ignorance, insensitivity and resistance to dealing with mental health. Society wasn’t equipped to deal with it empathetically and proactively.

They just didn’t talk about it.

Until now. Today I’m proud we have stepped out of the shadows of the past.

In my coaching and mentoring work, I have had grown men cry in front of me and seen raw emotion displayed by people on the edge. I have witnessed people implode and resign from breakdown.

Thankfully we now have more accessible resources to support each other.

I’ve felt compelled to help people through referral as I don’t have a clinical background. There are psychologists, great GP’s, government resources, charities and help groups out there. Even online resources are a starting point.

Never have you been more able to access resources to support your mental health.

In business, we are just human after all. You are not bullet proof despite your inner strength.

I recently read Leigh Matthews’, champion AFL Footballer and Coach, Biography in which he stated that things are never as good as they seem nor as bad as they seem.

I think it’s important to remember this saying in your weaker moments.

For it is how we respond to situations, rather than the situations themselves, that ultimately shape our mental health.

In business we ride the Roller Coaster rather than the Ferris Wheel. We underestimate the volatility of business life and its impact on our mental health.

So what are you doing about your mental health?

How do you monitor, protect and seek help on mental health issues?

Most of us know the recommendations around exercise, diet, daily habits and work/life balance. However, when things aren’t working out it’s easy to be neglectful in seeing the signs.

Beyond yourself, do you identify the signs in others struggling around you? And if you do, what do you do about it?

Are you sympathetic and caring of your family, friends, business partners, employees, customers and suppliers when they inevitably experience mental health issues?

Or do you withdraw?

Or ignore it?

Or do you judge?

Or do you do something to help?

It was recently R U OK Day – see – which supports simply asking people that you suspect may be struggling if they are okay.

It sounds simple and it is.

Business can be tough. But it is even tougher when you don’t see the signs of mental health issues creeping in and fail to take action. It gets much worse before it gets better.

Commit to monitoring your mental health on an honest and proactive basis. Check for signs in your behaviour regarding mood and your reaction to situations. Look for cues from others in how they interpret your mood or behaviour.

Similarly, look and listen to those around you for cues that they may be struggling.

Be a leader.

Show empathy and support in asking if they are okay?

Don’t underestimate your role in supporting people on mental health.

Don’t be silent on this life-changing issue.

Be proactive.

Are you okay?

PS: Join me and other SME Owners at this month SME HUB Breakfast on Friday, the 6th October to discuss your "Money" challenge and how to play a bigger game in business.

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To start creating sustainable success in your business and life, download a copy of my eBook 'The Success Algorithm' which details my process to work less and earn more. You can get a free copy on the Giveaways page of my website. Plus some bonus videos from my Fourth Moon video series to reach your goals sooner!

All the best, 

Darren K Bourke