Ben addresses the stigma around mental health

Ben addresses the stigma around mental health

Taken from a recent interview conducted by Kieran Nee, PMM editor, Ben’s health and wellbeing director, Rachel Clift, addresses the challenges and “stigma” associated with breaching the topic of mental health.

She said: “We are more able to talk about mental health, but it is still really patchy. A lot of that is to do with awareness and education. There’s still a lot of stigma attached to mental health and the industry itself. When you look at the makeup, it’s heavily male dominant. And we know that males in particular are less likely to talk about issues around their mental health until it gets to a stage where they’re really struggling.

“That is probably the main issue out there, and we want to ensure that people are reaching out earlier because it’s much easier to start addressing those issues or even preventing them in the first place. I think people are more open and more receptive now. But where employers have perhaps not had the same level of awareness or engagement around mental health, it makes it very difficult for their employees as a culture to talk about it openly.”

Bring conversation to life

Kieran then quizzed Rachel about whether businesses need to do more and how Ben is engaging with them to bring the topic to life and get people talking openly.

She replied: “I would say that this is definitely true of small-to-medium organisations. We find that our larger organisations have specific health and wellbeing teams, which might sit within the HR remit. Of course, they don’t have the same sort of infrastructure with micro small organisations in particular.

“So that makes it the perfect space for Ben to be operating in. And we can do so much with those employers and with those business owners to help them to be more aware around mental health, the impacts of mental health and the kind of knock-on effect. And I think the perception that you simply wake up one day with a mental health issue is probably something that the industry has.

“In fact, usually you have a situation where you have a few bad days and if you don’t address those bad days over a long period of time, that’s when people start to run into trouble and it’s often multifactorial in nature, so you’ll have lots of other things that are impacting on an individual that also contributes to their mental health issues, and it could be to do with their personal life, their families, their financial situation.

“So it’s a combination of issues that lead someone to feel a particular way. And I think that’s what we’re very good at Ben: getting to the root cause of the issues that somebody is facing, breaking that down into kind of manageable chunks to get them back on track.”

To listen to the whole conversation, click here.

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