Normalise Mental Health Conversations with a Hashtag

Finding the courage to seek support for our own mental health is one of the most empowering, but also, often one of the most challenging things we can do. This Mental Health Awareness Week (9th – 15th May,) Thrive: Mental Wellbeing is supporting and encouraging businesses across the UK to create a culture where employees can share their experiences and advice behind help-seeking openly with the campaign I Get Help. 


The number of Brits facing mental health issues increased sharply during the pandemic, a recent report by Mind stated that two in three adults (65%,) said their mental health worsened during the first national lockdown. The financial impact poor mental health has had on businesses reflects these figures at a record high of £53-£56billion. However, with just over half (52%) of employees not feeling supported by their employer when it comes to mental health, it’s likely these numbers underestimate the true situation.1 


Showing vulnerability and being able to communicate when we feel stressed and overwhelmed, takes bravery and courage. Something that not everyone is prepared for or feels able to do, reflected by findings that 60% of people with a mental health problem waited over a year to tell the people closest to them about it.The support a business provides its employees can heavily influence how early an employee will reach out for help.  

Dr. Anna Naumenko, Business Psychologist at Thrive said ‘Recent research we conducted amongst those in full-time employment found that a third of all employees feel that their managers almost never encourage conversations about mental health. 3 Having management initiate wellbeing conversations is a crucial step to show employees they will be supported and able to discuss mental health openly at work. Sadly, mental health still largely remains an uncomfortable subject that many managers simply do not know how to approach. “Is it OK to ask? Will it feel like an intrusion? Can these issues be discussed between a manager and employee at all? Questions and doubts like these can lead to managers acting “professional” – even if and when they do notice some troubling signs. 


Mental health topics can be normalised by openly discussing our experiences, in turn inspiring others to do the same. Mental Health Awareness Week 9th – 15th May, creates an opportunity to acknowledge and discuss how you truly feel and why. Empowering not only yourself but those around you to include mental health into daily conversations. Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, Thrive will be sharing people’s experiences of seeking help across social media via #IGETHELP, along with offering advice to organisations keen to promote more mental health conversations in the workplace.

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