Stress & Mental Health at Work
There are a lot of benefits to living in the modern world, like great tech, lots of choice, and a wealth of opportunity. But with it comes a lot of pressure and the expectation that we are always switched on.As lawyers, we know all too well the affect that stress has on us, our families and our careers. Excessive stress often leaves to anxiety, depression, irritability, a loss of interest in work or family life, tiredness, and problems sleeping.
Even where mental health problems have not been caused by work, they impact on our working lives and careers. Those with anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD and any other mental health issues know all too well the challenges faced.
Employers are getting better at dealing with the issue, taking measures such as putting in place policies for managing stress, using mental health ambassadors, and providing employees with access to free counselling advice lines. For many others though, ignorance (whether intentional or not) and high pressure culture remain the norm.
We would encourage anyone who is struggling with excessive stress or a mental health issue at work to talk to someone about it early on. That might be your line manager, HR department, a trusted colleague, your union rep or your GP. There are also a wealth of free resources and charitable bodies out there that can help. We have included on our Useful Links page a list of mental health-related charities, apps and other resources to help you.
We are also here to provide any help and guidance you need. The starting point is to make sure you know your rights. From there, we can help you to complain to your employer, negotiate a change in working conditions, negotiate an exit, or to advise you and represent you in bringing a claim.