According to a February study in the Lancet, there is a large burden of unmet need related to mental health conditions.
My own experience confirms this. A lot of companies are raising awareness and within the workplace and facilitating mental health sessions, but I’m seeing this from two angles. Companies are busier than ever because of the huge amount of uncertainty they’re experiencing. In the UK, there are all the issues around Brexit as well as the pandemic. And within all this collective uncertainty, there are individuals at every level who are struggling to organise their time personally and professionally.
Unfortunately, this means that even with the best of intentions, many organisations aren’t following through with their mental health strategies. I’m doing sessions with people at all levels where instead of the usual personal development, they’re just crying in despair because the pressure is immense.
People are being told their mental health is important and to ask for help, but at the same time they’re seeing their colleagues, friends and families losing their jobs so they’re scared to ask for help. When they do, they’re fired.
People don’t want to be seen as weak, so they’re taking on more and more and trying to juggle that with partners doing the same, children struggling with their own issues. Single people are doing all this with no support. It really is an epidemic on a grand scale at a level we’ve never seen before.
Whatever people’s job, personal circumstances or personality type, they are struggling. This has been going on for a year now and even the most introverted people who enjoy being alone have had enough.
Normally, we have outlets for all life’s little issues. We go to work and grumble about partners. We come home and offload about a tough working day. Children go to school and play with friends. As far as I am aware, there is no individual or group of people who are still thriving after a year of this pandemic.
People can feel lonely while surrounded by their families. They can feel stifled while rattling around a large house alone. There is no emotional escape and it will take its toll for a long time to come.