Time to Talk Day is about promoting honesty and, well, talking openly about mental health. It’s an encouragement to start conversations about mental health and to embrace being candid about mental health.
At Savvy we’re honoured to be part of a campaign that incites this transparency, and, on a practical level can take the opportunity to publicise internally the many avenues we provide our employees through which they are able to speak openly about what was once such an eschewed topic. We want to help stop the stigma now.
As a sufferer of panic attacks and extreme waves of anxiety myself, how strange it was when they first showed up that I didn’t recognise what was happening to me. We all understand the symptoms and recovery needed for sprained ankles, gastroenteritis and the flu but often are scared to accept that the brain sometimes needs a little help in maintaining healthy working order. And often a conversation is the start of that convalescence.
For me, only after a long period of introspection did I realise that the reason I couldn’t see it in myself was that I wrongly assumed my brain was infallible. It never even occurred to me that it could give out on me.
And my first step to feeling in control was being honest with myself that it was happening, and appreciating it wasn’t really my fault, or anyone else’s, it was just how my brain worked. In periods of mental ill health, the route cause is rarely the reason you first assume it is (looming deadline; harsh words with a friend; a difficult conversation at work; a missed anniversary dinner etc.) and is always a riddled concoction of different life stressors that, in my experience, makes my brain misfire slightly.
Nonetheless it was terrifying, lonely and confusing at the beginning and if I could ever give anyone any advice in dealing with a brain that has its own mind (yes, I went there) it’s be honest with yourself and those around you. I am. I continue to be open with my colleagues, my family, my friends. I talk.
THE SAVVY PERSPECTIVE
Savvy is a charter signatory of the Mindful Employer Network who pledge to work towards destigmatising mental health issues through every employee touchpoint.
Our CEO and Founder Catherine Shuttleworth is a great advocate in creating a safe and transparent environment which gives our employees the opportunity to be honest about their needs and requirements to making Savvy a healthy work place.
“Since Savvy began 13 years ago it’s always been important to me that as employers we provide an environment that supports colleagues through good times and tougher times.
Good mental health is important and I’m personally delighted that this subject that was once taboo in the workplace is now being more widely discussed and accepted as something that needs just as much support as our physical health.
We are pleased to be part of this initiative and hope that it provides colleagues with confidence to discuss this topic more openly.”
Time to Talk Day here at Savvy is about being open with yourself and your support network in a totally safe environment free from any stigma. You don’t have to hide people – you just have to start opening your mouths.
And whilst we’re so incredibly lucky at Savvy to have some amazing resources at our finger tips from the wonderful advisors at Mindful Employer Network; to the 24 hour support line at Simply Health; to the direct access plan at Bupa; and our confidential in-house drop in sessions; we’d also like to celebrate the work done by those the fantastic organisations such as the Samaritans; Mind Infoline; Saneline; Elefriends and Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line which are available to everyone everywhere.
You’re all making the world a chattier, more open one, one conversation at a time. Now get that kettle on.