Struggling with mental health at work? Let’s talk about it.

~ 3min read

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~ 3min read

Approaching the topic of mental health at work is never easy, especially if you’re struggling. But, when you think about it - are you happy to discuss a physical issue with your manager? The answer is probably yes. So why should your mental health be any different?

> Why do we not feel comfortable talking about mental health issues at work?

Mental health often has no physical symptoms, so it can be difficult for people to understand when someone is struggling. Just because there are no physical giveaways, doesn’t mean mental health conditions aren’t debilitating.


While progress has been made, there’s still some stigma around mental health. Those who are suffering may harbor negative feelings, such as shame and guilt, which makes speaking out even more difficult.


It’s important to know that low mental health does not discriminate, and nearly everyone you know will have struggled to some degree.

> How to talk about mental health at work

Being able to speak up and be vulnerable with your line manager and colleagues  is often more difficult than staying silent. It’s important to know that you don’t need to divulge any personal issues if you’re not comfortable doing so. 

Work is a big part of life, so it’s key that you talk about anything that’s impacting your health.

If you’re struggling to the point where you feel your work is being affected then it may be beneficial for your manager to know. There is often workplace support in place to support mental health wellbeing. 

Making your manager aware of what’s happening ensures that they know your needs and can put adjustments in place, especially if you’re struggling with a long term condition.

> Think about your needs

Before you start the conversation with your workplace, think about what you want to get out of the discussion. 

What would make the situation easier for you? Try and come up with some solutions yourself so that you can attend the discussion with talking points. 

Solutions could include changing your working hours, giving you more time on specific tasks, or taking some time off as agreed with your workplace and doctor.

Bear in mind that it might not be feasible to implement all your suggestions, but your manager will want to work with you to help you be at your best.

> Find the right time and place

Be sure to catch up with your manager at a convenient time for the both of you. Don’t try and catch them before heading into a meeting or before a tight deadline as the conversation will feel rushed. 

Block some time out for both of you in advance. This way there won’t be any distractions and you can have an honest discussion. 

Think about what time of the day will work best. It may be better to do it in the morning so you’re not anxious all day. 

> Most importantly, try and relax!

Remember, your boss is human too. It’s likely that they have experienced a similar issue, or at least know someone who has. 

There are often protocols in place for mental health support at work, but no one can help you if they don’t know you’re struggling. 

At mthree, we understand the importance of mental health and how it can impact us. If you’re a mthree Alumni on site and you’re struggling with mental health, please contact your engagement team for support. 

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