Mental Health: It’s Important to Be Kind

Georgia Dunstan-Brown

There are days that can feel a bit too heavy on the shoulders and that’s perfectly okay. You are allowed to feel sad, you are allowed to feel anxious, you are allowed to not be okay. But it’s important that in these instances, to be kind to yourself.

Kindness is spoken about as if it is an obvious behaviour to spread around. But the world is still cruel. We have crime, terrorism, mental health issues, inequality, bullying, and the list goes on and on. Even though kindness is talked about, it’s time to actively practice it, not only to others, but to yourself.

Mental health statistics have grown over the years. Currently, according to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lives. That means just by looking around you, there’s someone that might need some support or even just an encouraging smile.

Everyone has a story to tell. It might not be one of pain and trauma, but certainly everyone has their own journey.

When it comes to working, mental health can be a major hurdle and can make it difficult to carry out your daily tasks. You may not have the capacity to look after yourself and be a productive worker because a mental health condition can be so encompassing. One of the other hard factors is letting your boss and workmates know that you have this going on, because they may not be so understanding. Your colleagues may  see it as “you’re having a bad day”, not “you have a mental health condition and you need time and support to get through it.”

There’s a certain stigma that since you can’t actively see someone suffering from a mental health condition, they’re not suffering, they’re not “sick”. The idea that someone can’t take a sick day because their mental condition is suffering is also a stigma that needs to be talked about.

It’s normal for someone with a cold to take a day off because they are sick, but the same can’t be said about suffering from a mental condition, because people still don’t believe that it’s justifiable to take a day off. Let’s put it clearly, a mental condition is an illness. It’s not a phase or a bad day, it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain.

The reason we’re talking about this topic this week, is that when it comes to the workspace, it’s important to remember how we’re all human. We all have lives outside of our jobs, and sometimes those spaces outside of work are really hard spaces to deal with. The statement “be kind” comes into play here, because no matter what journey each individual is on, everyone deserves kindness, and possibly practicing a little bit of kindness it could save a life.

Don’t lock it all up, if you’re struggling with life, let someone in. Even if it’s a workmate, a friend or a family member. Because a problem shared is a problem halved. Always remember that even though it’s important to be kind to others, it’s also important to be kind to yourself.

Where to find help

Mental Health America

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Alliance on Mental Illness

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