In May 2019, Capco UK introduced workplace Mental Health First Aiders in conjunction with Mental Health First Aid England, the only provider of licensed Mental Health First Aid instructor training in England. Today, on World Mental Health Day we share the purpose of the Mental Health First Aiders within our organization and three tips for managing mental health from our UK Mental Health Lead, Bhavik Shah.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses or life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’
We are currently in what is described as a world mental health ‘epidemic’, with one in four people experiencing mental health issues each year. The business costs associated with poor mental health are also stark, reportedly costing UK employers £34.9 billion each year.
Our Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) have undertaken two days of training with Mental Health First Aid England and are able to provide support to employees or someone close to them (such as a fellow colleague, a family member or friend) who is facing a mental health issue.
While Capco’s MHFAs are not trained counsellors or therapists, they understand a wide range of mental health conditions and can offer confidential support and advice.
In addition to MHFAs and regular health and wellbeing seminars on resilience, anxiety and depression at the firm, there is professional support available to all employees. These include 1-2-1 counselling sessions and access to other professionals through our private healthcare provider.
TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Our UK Mental Health Lead and senior consultant Bhavik Shah offers the following tips to employees feeling stressed or anxious:
“Over the years, I have been fortunate to have fantastic mentors in my life that have taught me some very important life lessons regarding mental health - hopefully ones that others will find useful, as well:
1) Do not undermine your issues. – Allow yourself to feel stress, anxiety and sadness because your problems are valid. Often people dismiss their own problems by saying they aren’t as bad as others and give worst case scenarios as comparisons. That opinion is subjective and unfair to yourself and using someone else’s situation as a benchmark of your own happiness isn’t healthy. Rather than masking these problems, try to understand the root of your issues and face them head on. Make a list of all the things that give you stress. Physically writing this out provides immediate relief. Prioritise yours by severity and start making small, actionable goals to bring your stress/anxiety down.
2) What is actually in your control? – Naturally we think about the 'what-ifs' of life, however, we often have no control over these. Decisions made in the past are no longer within our ability to change, and it helps to accept that we also cannot control situations that depend on external factors or people. Prepping for a client interview and representing yourself in the best possible way is in your control; however, the client’s ultimate decision is not in your control. So why stress over things that are outside of your power? Instead, use that energy and angst to carve a sweeter path for your present and future.
3) Confidence is a choice - We are not born with confidence, even though we may think some people are naturally confident. It is a combination of competency, practice, and a bit of faking it until you make it. We all face new challenges every day, either with our work or our personal lives. What do we do? We try to educate ourselves as much as we can and understand the problem at hand - which builds our competency. The continuation of any activity makes us better at harnessing this skill. Lastly, 'fake it till you make it' may seem amusing, yet each small risk allows you to build your confidence step by step. Repeat this cycle and remember that every one of us can be confident if we choose to be.
For more information about life at Capco, read other employee’s stories at: https://capco.com/About-Us/Be-yourself-at-work
The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 – it’s free.
For support in a crisis, contact the Shout Crisis Text Line by texting Shout to 85258.