Today marks an important event in the global calendar of significant days, for October 10th is World Mental Health Day.
A GROWING PROBLEM
Mental Health has been identified as an increasingly significant problem affecting more and more people at ever younger ages.
The most recent figures have shown that 26% of adults have been diagnosed with at least one mental disorder – an increase of 68% in just 7 years from the 17.6% it was at in 2014. Even more alarmingly is the forecast that by 2030 approximately there will be 2 million more adults with a mental health condition than there were in 2013.
Compounding the issue, government cuts to NHS funding has meant the real term cash budget specifically for tackling the mental health problems has fallen by £600m between 2010 and 2015.
The theme for this years World Mental Health Day is Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World, and this is completely appropriate to what is being observed in the mental health states of those under the age of 25.
Alarmingly, children and young people are the ones most affected by the decrease in mental health across all levels of society. Half of mental disorders are established by the age of 14 and three quarters by the age of 24.
Possible reasons are cited as being increased pressures on their financial futures and decreased home ownership, as well as online bullying and social media influences. But the truth is at this time, no-one knows for sure.
So, it falls to us to be more aware of the symptoms and behaviours displayed by those with a disorder to help them in their daily lives or assist them in getting the help they need.
PROBLEMS IN THE WORKPLACE
Workplaces exert different pressures on individuals than they experience in other areas of their lives, and these often exacerbate the symptoms - making it very difficult for them to work effectively. The added worry of taking time off to combat their problems can often make symptoms even worse, and so begins a downward cycle of absenteeism.
Interestingly, Event Coordinators are considered to have 1 of the top 5 most stressful jobs after police officer, airline pilots, fire fighters and the military.
So, why is that?
Quite often, event planners work under immense pressure, as a middle man between customers and an operations team. Working to strict deadlines while spinning multiple plates and ensuring to reach ever increasing ROI targets are just a few reasons why this role is considered to be one of the most stressful. As budgets get tighter every year, delegate expectations can become impossible to live up to, potentially effecting the attendance rates of events, yet another KPI for organisers.
On top of all of this, the requirement to stay on top of the latest technology, marketing techniques and where the typical audiences ‘hang out’ online gives event coordinators an endless list of metrics to keep track of.
It’s estimated that in three of the more common types of mental health issues; depression, bipolar disorders and anxiety, sufferers lose the equivalent of up to a month of work per year through absences or unproductive days at work (known as presenteeism).
This harms both the sufferer; through lost pay, jeopardising their position, catching up on missed work, damage to possible progression in their role; and the employer who either operates understaffed or has to bring in more help at their expense.
Nobody wins, and the situation is becoming so prevalent it’s no longer something that can simply be ignored or avoided. Members of your staff will be affected and will need help to overcome their problems.
Mental health issues can severely damage the quality of someone’s life, jeopardising their relationships, happiness and even livelihoods. However, today is a day where mental health professionals and the like can raise awareness by talking about the work they are doing and the problems they are solving. Likewise, it is a time for everyone to raise awareness and support those around us who we know are suffering from mental health issues.
By listening, raising awareness, and being a little more aware and understanding, we can help make things easier on those who are suffering every day.
Lane End Conferences puts you, as the event organiser, at the centre of everything we do aiming to make your life that little bit easier and bear some of the strain we know is present with organising a top-quality event! Today, we have 'turned the office green' as a sign of awareness and to get people talking about mental health!