Many of you may already be aware but if not it was World Mental Health Awareness Day last week. A day to encourage conversation around mental health and break the stigma. Earlier this year I discovered a company called Sanctus who are all about mental health in the workspace and treating your mental health like physical health. Sanctus have launched a Pledge for companies like mine to join them on their mission to change the perception of mental health.
The Sanctus Pledge; I want to pledge my commitment to make my business an open environment where mental health is supported, and people can bring their full selves to work.
I’ve signed this pledge. Why? I struggle with my own mental health, I have done for years but it’s only the last couple that I’ve started to learn how to manage it and have a great group of friends supporting me.
Am I ashamed? There are times when yes I would say I do feel that way, and I find it hard to stand up and say this is me. I’ve been my own boss since I was 22 and I’ve never felt that I can show weakness and that has been my biggest downfall. Had I shown weakness, had I admitted and retrospectively laughed at my mistakes rather than be ashamed and hidden them, perhaps my own health wouldn’t have suffered in the same way.
Why am I writing this? I don’t want a pat on the back, I don’t want a well done for encouraging openness around mental health, that would be hypocritical as I’ve kept my own struggles quiet for so long. I’m writing this because not one of my employees knows I suffer with my mental health. It’s easy to sit here and write this down, but standing up and speaking those words in front of friends and colleagues seems a lot harder. It shouldn’t be that way.
So that’s why, firstly I signed the Sanctus pledge and why I have committed to making my business an open environment where mental health is supported, so I, Ceri, can come to work every day.
If you believe in this and want more information on Sanctus check them out at http://www.sanctus.io