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Mental Health Awareness week 14-18th May - comment from Rotageek

Chris McCullough, CEO & co-founder at Rotageek commented:

“Mental Health Awareness Week brings a very real problem to light. Every day people across the world face difficulties with their mental health. Any initiative that draws attention to these struggles should be praised, but we must consider that this one week represents only a small part of the picture. These problems exist all year long. While personal life, lifestyle and physical health all play a role in one’s mental wellbeing, work is all too often a major wounding factor.

“According to National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey, over 60% of people report that work was a contributing factor to mental health issues at some point in their career. This is a worrying sign that work, and particularly unsustainable working practices, can take a toll on people, affecting both wellbeing and performance. Unhealthy overtime culture has become almost an epidemic in some business and even industries, to such an extent that it arises a sense of competitive tiredness amongst colleagues.

“While many organisations have already taken steps to improve their knowledge and understanding, in practice health and wellbeing strategies often lag behind. This is particularly true in industries such as retail, hospitality and healthcare, where employment is usually rostered. Irregular working hours can have a serious impact on health including, but not limited to, fatigue, unbalanced eating patterns and an associated increased risk of obesity and diabetes. This must not be the new normal.

“It’s not enough to have support in place for those suffering from mental health problems – businesses must proactively seek ways to prevent contributing to ill mental health. Getting this right means workers can benefit from an improved work-life balance, which ultimately delivers a better motivated, engaged and retained workforce. The key is to empowering individuals to manage their work-life balance and businesses and organisations must examine tools that can make this happen. Technologies that offer better scheduling management are within the reach of every organisation, yet so few businesses take the time to weigh up their options.”