We all have mental health, just like we have physical health. And like our physical health, our mental health can vary from good mental health to poor mental health – and everything in-between. Here are some helpful definitions from Mind, the mental health charity.
Mental wellbeing is the ability to cope with the everyday stresses of life, being able to work productively, interact positively with others and to be able to realise your own potential.
We all experience periods of poor mental health. This is when we struggle with low mood, stress or anxiety. We may become short-tempered, feel restless or upset. Mental health is a spectrum of moods, and we all have times when we feel great and times when we don’t.
A mental health problem is when difficult feelings or experiences go on for a long period of time, affecting our ability to enjoy life or to feel joy. Common mental health problems include depression, anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Severe mental health problems include less common conditions, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Work-related stress is the most common cause of stress. The Workplace Health Report revealed how 76% of UK professionals are currently experiencing moderate to high levels of stress and that the top cause of their stress is their workload.
Stress in the workplace is unavoidable. Most people have a limit of stress that is acceptable but when it becomes unmanageable, that’s when it’s damaging to your health and may lead to burnout.
Whilst burnout isn’t officially recognised as a mental health diagnosis, it is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an ‘occupational phenomenon.’ The symptoms are mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion caused by long-term stress in the workplace.