It is not always easy to spot if somebody is experiencing mental ill health, which can come in many different forms and in some cases are dismissed all too easily as something minor. Turning a blind eye to certain behaviour, or just hoping a person is ‘going through a phase’ and will be okay after a while could lead to a further deterioration in a person’s mental health.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in 6 people experience mental health problems in the workplace. This can affect a company’s staff attendance levels and productivity, but maintaining good mental health is vital for many reasons. It allows us to make the most of our potential and improves our relationships with the people around us, whether it’s family members, friends or work colleagues.

By learning how to identify when somebody’s personal circumstances might be affecting their mental health you can put yourself in an ideal position to refer them to professional help. The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) offer two free mental health training courses; the Mental Health Awareness Training is a two-hour introductory course to raise awareness of mental health, and the Mental Health First Aider Training is a two-day course that qualifies you as a Mental Health First Aider. With Mental Health Week taking place between 13th-19th May, EIC is highlighting the importance of mental health awareness with real life stories of people who have benefited from the Charity’s help. In October 2018 EIC were contacted by Louise, whose husband James was suffering with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

James had become fixated on an incident that happened about seven years ago but was unable to recall exactly what happened. This led him to feel a great deal of worry and angst about whether he had harmed someone. James obsessively began to seek answers by searching the internet for news clips and speaking to his friends who might have witnessed something. The efforts James went to in order to seek certainty tormented him both psychologically and emotionally and he subsequently engaged in suicidal ideation as he felt desperate to silence his mind. However, Louise was pregnant with their first child, and James was determined to be around to support her and his unborn baby.

The Charity provided telephone counselling for Louise to give her the emotional support she needed during what was a very complex and uncertain time, while James was referred to the Charity’s online psychiatry services, who provided a one-hour skype session with an assigned psychiatrist specialising in the area of OCD. The Charity also referred him to a special, private clinic for OCD support, which included a seven-day programme of face-to-face support and group meetings.

By raising our awareness of mental health, we can make it easier to establish when somebody is dealing with mental health issues, whether it’s ourselves or someone close to us. If you would like to learn more about the mental health awareness services the Charity can provide please contact Jess Vailima: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For free and confidential advice e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or call 0800 652 1618.

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