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1 in 3 people will suffer from a mental health condition in their lifetime. And with cuts to services and a lack of support available, many are turning to employers to provide advice and guidance to those experiencing mental health issues.
In this Let’s Talk Interview we talk with Gethin Nadin who shares with us his thoughts on why we need to be addressing mental health in the workplace, with a particular emphasis on wellbeing.
He talks about what to do when you want to talk to your boss about asking for help, and shares his tips for new managers on how to provide this level of support to teams.
After all, if you’re not happy or healthy, your manager is not going to get the most from you at work.
- The negative impact of hustle porn culture
- The importance of working smart, not working hard
- How to talk to your boss in that first conversation
- How to talk with your team member if they come to you
- Grounding exercises to keep your wellbeing in check.
Watch this interview to learn about:
Aimee: Hi, I'm Aimee Bateman, founder of Careercake. And today I'm with Gethin Nadin who is an Employee Wellbeing director at Benefex and also one of my favourite people, a keynote speaker and author of A World of Good, which is a wonderful book. And we're going to be talking staff wellbeing at work, which is your absolute passion and why you get out of bed in the morning and one of the things that really matters today, and people know it matters. I want to talk more about it. So, talk to me about the stats when it comes to wellbeing at work, what does, what does the landscape look like?
Gethin: The big stuff that's bandied around quite a lot is one in four people suffer mental health. That's a given. Actually, some of the most recent research coming out, 2018/2019 shows that's probably more like one in three. So actually, when you're thinking about the people you know in your life, one in three of those people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their life. And that's excluding the everyday little bits of lack of confidence, anxiety, stress. This is serious stress or depression or even more serious mental health issues. So, it's really, really prevalent. I think what's happening as a society is, we are encouraging people to talk more about their mental health and that's leading to people recognising their own mental health. So, somebody like my father used to worry all the time. I think if you looked at my father now, in the context of 2019, you'd probably give him some anxiety disorder. But at the time it was just, he's someone that just worries about stuff. So, really, really prevalent. I think what we've started to realise is the support for mental health right across the world, but particularly in the UK, is really, really underfunded. So, it's estimated around 40 to 50% of people who need clinical help for mental health issues in the UK don't get it, because the support just isn't there. So, we know the NHS is overburdened. We know that budgets have been cut for this kind of stuff, so people just aren't getting huge amounts of support. And so, all eyes are facing towards the employers to say, actually, people spend a huge amount of time with you every day. If people have poor wellbeing or poor mental health at home or generally in their lives, they're going to bring that to work and that's going to affect their ability to do their job. And so, it stands to reason that if somebody is not happy or healthy, you're not going to get the most out of them in a workplace environment. So, I think that's where it started to come into the workplace and almost in a similar way that the Government identified that employers could really help employees retire well and retire with lots of money and not rely on the state. I think the Government has now taken the view, actually we could push this onto employers as well and wellbeing could be something that employers could focus on.
Aimee: And take responsibility for. A lot of our audience are in that sort of first 10, 12 years of their career, their first decade and they're desperately wanting to achieve, they are wanting to maybe put in the extra hours, they may be failing for the first time, experiencing mental health issues at work for the first time. What would the symptoms be? What is happening to these people? And they might have to start thinking - I maybe need to start talking to somebody about my wellbeing.
Gethin: So, the first part of the question is really interesting. So, there is a new phenomenon that's appeared online called hustle porn. And it's the idea that people start talking about - I'm up at 5:00 AM, two hours in the gym, then I have a fruit smoothie, then I go to the office, I'm in the office for 12 hours, I go home and I start trading cryptocurrencies and then I relax.
Aimee: Look how epic I am.
Gethin: Absolutely. I guess it's this whole Instagram - the idea that I'm living this perfect life, but you don't deserve things in life unless you worked hard for them and you won't get these things unless you put the hours in.
Aimee: You’ve got to get up at 4, don’t you? Otherwise you won't get anything
Gethin: I think one of the famous ones was Mark Walberg. His crazy schedule was shared online. He spent more time in the shower in the morning than he did golfing, but he's up at two in the morning and he goes to bed at eight o'clock at night. And you look at that thing and if I want to be like Mark Walberg, I've got to do this. But it's just never, ever a real representation of what his life is going to be like. Because we know if he was filming, he might be away, and he wouldn't be keeping up that schedule because he'd be filming during the day. He wouldn't be playing golf and all this stuff. So, I think people really need to be realistic about the stuff you see on social media where people are uploading pictures themselves, working really late at night and saying, “You're not going to be successful in your career unless you work really hard and put the hours in.” I think you've got to take a lot of this stuff with a pinch of salt. But I think that hustle porn and the idea that people are putting themselves out there and saying I'm working really, really hard and I'm doing 15 hour days is just breeding a lot of people who come in to their careers saying, okay, this is what I need to do to succeed.