As you may have noticed, today is the fourth annual “Time to Talk” day.

The purpose of the Time to Talk day is to seek to break down the stigma of mental health issues and spark conversations, not only to aid recovery but also to help people with their personal and professional relationships and to assist them in the workplace.

As we have blogged previously, the stigma of mental health issues is a serious workplace problem and can lead to absenteeism, presenteeism and the damaging breakdown of working relationships.  At a human level, the impact of these issues is immense but the financial impact for businesses is potentially just as great.  Employees are usually a business’s greatest currency and its largest investment – with this in mind there has to be value in creating a workplace culture where employees feel able to share their issues with their managers on a confidential basis.  After all, if you spent that much money on your machines, would you not go out of your way to make sure that they were kept in working order, properly maintained and precautions taken against breakdowns? We would therefore encourage employers to consider training line managers on how to spot mental health issues and how to open a conversation.

After all, as a mental health professional we know well often tells us, we each enquire about each other’s mental health every day by saying “How are you?”  It’s just a matter of listening to the answer.