Report on the talk given by Chris Horne on 9th February 2017
business matters are grateful to CMS Cameron McKenna for hosting this lunchtime talk and providing refreshments.
Chris has been involved in the business matters network for a number of years and is known to many. What may not be so well known is that he has struggled with mental ill health during that time.
This lunchtime talk allowed Chris to share, in a very personal and passionate way, some of his own thoughts as an individual coming through that journey.
The nature of the talk makes it quite difficult to report but what follows below are some key bullet points which will be of help to individuals and their managers. A recording of the talk is available through the link at the foot of this article and listening to this is to be highly recommended as it conveys much more effectively the important messages that Chris was able to share.
Mental health background
- Begins at day 1 when you are born – what we are really concerned with is mental wellbeing
- Has, like it or not, still got a stigma attached – perhaps especially in the workplace
- Is a topic that is not often raised, or even acknowledged, in the workplace with individuals concerned about admitting to issues for fear of consequences
Some of the triggers (vary from individual to individual)
- Effect of other medical issues
- Specific pressures/stresses at work and home
- Busyness – at work and at home – leading to tiredness/fatigue
Some of the concerns that might be in your mind
- Mental health issues are not for “normal” people
- I’m coping – I don’t need to admit it
- What if my manager/workmates don’t understand?
Rehabilitation key factors at work and as an individual
- SPACE for
- Seasonality effects
- Having permission to talk
- Support networks
- People just being a friend
- Balancing looking back with moving on and looking forward
Some practical steps that may work (vary from individual to individual)
- Pace yourself – take care of the diary – manage your reserves
- Recognise that your strengths and weaknesses may be more accentuated
- Get out into the fresh air at lunchtime
- If you are working half-time then work in the afternoons – then you will be leaving with everyone else and not feel pressured to stay on “just a bit longer”
- Recognise that seasons and/or particular events may be particularly difficult
- Be as honest as you possibly can be with your support networks – particularly your family
- Get professional help quickly when things start to wobble
Chris finished with the question “what does success really look like?” and urged us to take a holistic and realistic view.
A Q&A session followed and those at the talk expressed their appreciation for a compelling and honest look at this topic.