Capita Sparks come together for Mental Health Awareness week

Date posted: 17/05/2019. Author: Hannah Dobson

Capita’s Sparks team came together today to raise awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week by wearing green on Friday 17 May. The focus this year is on body image, but mental health issues come in a variety of forms and affect people both in the short and long term.

One in four people in the UK suffer from mental health issues and I’m one of them, having experienced anxiety and panic attacks for as long as I can remember. Anxiety is part of a broad spectrum of issues ranging from overthinking to being unable to leave the house. Luckily I am on the lower end of the spectrum but I do have days where my head is spinning with illogical thoughts and I feel very much down in the dumps.

Sadly, I also have family and friends who suffer from mental health issues including anorexia, bulimia, depression, anxiety and psychosis. In 2002 I lost my auntie to suicide and again in 2016 I lost an old school friend. It’s always an issue that will be part of my life.

So what can we do?

Mental health is at the forefront of our thoughts now as awareness has grown immensely. There have been very public mental health campaigns in recent times like This Morning’s Project 84 - raising awareness of male suicide and public documentaries from Rio Ferdinand and Simon Thomas about their struggles with grief.

We’re only human and not miracle workers but we can all do something to help those who are suffering. It could be as simple as telling someone you’re there for them when they’re having a particularly low day.

Capita offers a free employee counselling service through the Employee Assistance Programme, provided by Care first. It is open to all staff members who may be struggling with work, families or relationships. You can visit the website or download the ‘EAP in Your Pocket’ app, visit Capita Choice to find details of how to log in to Care first.

Outside of work there are so many organisations such as CALM, Samaritans and Heads Together. These are fantastic charities that help with mental health issues and offer free support and guidance to those who contact them.

If you are suffering, don’t do it in silence. Gone are the days of keeping a “stiff upper lip” it’s good to talk about it.