by Anne-Louise Pemberton
Even on the best days, stress can prevent us from being fully focused and doing our best work. Too much of it can lead to exhaustion, disengagement, more sick days, and strained relationships in the workplace.
In the wake of lockdowns, social distancing, working from home, furloughs and job losses - the pandemic has put an extra strain on people's lives, relationships and mental wellbeing.
It has never been more critical for business and leaders to address the mental well-being of their teams.
According to a study by the Mental Health Foundation published in February 2021, anxiety and worry because of the pandemic actually declined, as people became more hopeful about lockdowns lifting. But amongst vulnerable groups, there are still high levels of anxiety.
As we emerge from restrictions and start interacting with colleagues, friends and family more than we have done over the last few months, looking out for someone's mental health is just as important as their physical health. Around one in five adults experienced some form of depression in the first few months of this year, more than twice as many as before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
MHFA England has partnered with BBC News to develop some interactive exercises around the principles of Mental Health First Aid training.
I strongly encourage you to open the link and try the interactive exercise. If a friend or colleague was struggling, would you notice and know what to do? See how you could support them.
Please share with your teams, clients and network. The tool provides you with useful tips for starting conversations around mental health, as well as a taste for the skills and knowledge that Mental Health First Aid training can provide.
Anne-Louise is a Mental Health Training expert who has focused on resilience and positive psychology for the last 20 years in various learning and development roles. She works independently with clients in the private sector, education and as a registered coach with the NHS Leadership Academy.
Anne-Louise works with organisations to develop mental health policies and to fully integrate mental health awareness, ensuring that everyone's wellbeing is supported. She is passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health and contributing to better mental health for all.
To find out more about Mental Health First Aid contact Kelly Collins at email@example.com.