How is our mental health

I start this blog with a question.  How is your mental health, that of your friends and family and the people you employ?

A staggering 1 in 4 people in the UK will suffer with some form of mental health issue in their lifetime. Next time you are out and about, notice those around you.  Unfortunately, a lot display classic signs and behaviours that indicate an underlying issue.

Could it be that people and organisations are fixated on the wrong things? Could it be that pressure to compare and benchmark against others and other organisations is accelerating the decline of our own health?

What makes people happy? Well there certainly isn’t one universal answer, but I suspect that a lot of people are trying to be happy by achieving what others want them to achieve, having what others have and achieving this through short term activities and actions.

We are and have always been at our most powerful when we are with others, communities, groups, tribes, teams etc. Human beings are naturally communal and the point I am going to suggest is that we are losing touch with that. Mental illness is nigh-on non-existent in some tribes and remote groups in the world, yet has found its way into other cultures as they have been exposed to the “I must be better and/or beat someone else or organisation” culture.

So where is all this conjecture leading, you may ask? Well, we have a responsibility in the workplace to engage with others, to encourage everyone’s involvement and to respect diversity. We also must consider leadership and if we are leading, to be willing to look at our leadership style. There is, in my opinion, a need for empowering leadership and a duty to provide clear vision, values and beliefs of the organisation. That’s what provides purpose and leads to fulfilment when we are part of group that achieves the vision, overcomes the obstacles and finds solutions together. Wages are a given and provide security, while employee benefits only provide short term hits of the feel good factor.

So how is your community, group, tribe or team? Which do you belong to and more importantly, in which are you active? For if we are not active, we are not members, we are voyeurs and likely to be merely taking from it when it suits us! Too many of us can fall victim to that route, yet it is our choice.

So be active, take part. Work collectively and have fulfilment from being with others and achieving something to the common good of all.  Rather than just looking after our own interests; this way,  we are more likely to remain mentally healthier and to facilitate the opportunity for others to be mentally and emotionally resilient also.