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{ INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS }

ARE YOU MINDFUL OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH ? By Dean Orgill Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk • www.iod.com

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his month I would again like to revert to a “just a thought” comment from a previous column to develop a theme of looking after ourselves. “Sir Richard Branson recently commented that “because I stay fit and healthy, I’m working as hard as I’ve ever worked”. Do you pay enough attention to your health and fitness?” Were you able to give much thought yourself to that point? Or were you metaphorically and physically running around trying to do so many things that, although the idea expressed did briefly register as interesting as it was processed, you quickly moved on to do several other essential things and the thought soon disappeared ? It is easy to interpret the quote as relating solely to physical health, particularly bearing in mind the speaker’s “action man” reputation. On first reading that is probably the default reaction. But I think it applies equally to the mind as well as to the body. Many of us now have constant availability in terms of communication. We have information fed to us through all sorts of media most of the time – in fact, all of the time if we want it. Lots of people are also trying to juggle several roles

rather than following a single, more traditional, linear career. All of us are probably also trying to juggle these things with having a satisfying personal and family life that does not see us neglecting our loved ones. Trying to balance all of this is not always easy and can sometimes lead to stress and mental health issues. Reportedly, in Britain alone 105 million days are lost to stress each year. In the view of the World Health Organization mental illness will require more healthcare resources than cancer and heart disease well before the middle of this century. Earlier this year the IoD commissioned research (by YouGov) into mental wellbeing, and amongst the findings were that : • 93% of businesses say personal worries and stress affect performance at work, • 32% of employees say stress and anxiety make it difficult to get their work done, • Only 7% of businesses have discussed mental health issues with staff, • 82% of businesses say they should make provisions to promote emotional wellbeing BUT • Only 23% of businesses have a companywide mental health policy or programme.

In addition to commissioning the survey, the IoD helped to promote the Time to Talk Day, which asked people to spend 5 minutes talking about mental health. There is no single simple solution to any issues raised. Often the details can be complex, and each individual will react in their own personal way in response to the pressures they face. Different strategies will help different people. However, I think it would help everyone to acknowledge that mental health needs to be considered and addressed. I would encourage everyone to try to improve the statistics above - for the benefit of us all.

JUST A THOUGHT Can you identify one thing you should change about your business, and one thing you absolutely should not?

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Profile for Platinum Business

Platinum Business Magazine, Issue 11  

The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...

Platinum Business Magazine, Issue 11  

The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...