Week 7 – mental health, loneliness and the workplace

Around 1 in 5 (21%) adults experienced some form of depression in early 2021 (27 January to 7 March); this is an increase since November 2020 (19%) and more than double that observed before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (10%).

Source -ONS – depression in adults  – May 2021

Financially related depression and anxiety s also increasing – around 1 in 3 (35%) adults who reported being unable to afford an unexpected expense of £850 experienced depressive symptoms in early 2021, compared with 1 in 5 (21%) adults before the pandemic

Questions to consider;

  1. How do you make the response to diminished mental health meaningful?
  2. Will the ‘flexible working’ arrangements provide a salve against some pressures or simply create new ones?
  3. Does one of the most effective answers to mental health related issues and loneliness lie in a more spiritually connected life?
  4. How much support for financial wellbeing is being addressed through education, businesses and community cohesion?
  5. Is pursuit of political correctness harming our mental health and wellbeing?
  6. How do you make the response to diminished mental health meaningful?

NB – Mental health status was already declining pre-pandemic, therefore the dip test results seen as time goes by shouldn’t be seen as the pandemic’s causal effect

Mental health impact

The most consequential aspects of mental health are still to be played out. The UK furlough scheme (and other world schemes ) will end and the adjustment of working again for millions, may be a very tough call.

Health Impact

Positive note – the importance of mental health has scaled policy maker agendas and include factors such as loneliness, social isolation and social support.

Of particular concern is the mental health of GenZ and younger Millennial

 

Insights and Takeaways

In any given week ( from MIND)

Mixed anxiety and depression 8/100

Generalised anxiety disorder 6/100

PTSD 4/100

Depression 3/100

Phobias 2/100

The complexity of the challenge;

As previously mentioned – poor mental health along with high mental health inequalities are likely to conflate to a worsened overall state.

Some companies and countries will respond faster;

Many countries and companies will appear to be ‘doing’ mental health and wellbeing as  the world re-opens. Watch out for the patterns related to saying and doing. The US and the UK are great examples of countries that understand the academics but cultural shift at a government level is a struggle

Will the ‘flexible working’ arrangements provide a salve against some pressures or simply create new ones?

Deloitte – 20k UK employees can work from home forever

Trust, teamwork and tech

 

Workplace patterns of change- reactive to preventive

SHAPE  (mysha.pe)  – core message is company performance and productivity …via optimising wellbeing

BetterUp – core message is more personal – individual transformation, conversations changing lives, whole person, whole organization

 

The common factors …

…will always be technology and science  – measurable impact, proving ROI and stats relative to productivity, retention of employees and attendance

A recrafting of learning;

Does one of the most effective answers to mental health related issues and loneliness lie in a more spiritually connected life?

 

Loneliness …

… increases risk of death by 25%

… is worse for you than obesity

… and social isolation are associated with the risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke

…with severe depression is associated with premature mortality

Layering of learnings;

1) Compassion and connectedness – belonging and helping people feel that they matter – on a personal level, the mammalian care giving system

2) Embracing the belief that we have all that we need within us – diminishing the ‘seeking outside of ourselves’ for validation, fulfillment and value

3) Hydration  – literally, everything feels better when we’re hydrated – 1% drop in hydration levels means a 12%  drop in productivity .

4) Spiritual connection, practice and understanding  –  is this the most valuable path to personal salvation?

5) The power of online and in-person community groups – safe spaces, an ability to bond, to care and most importantly, to connect.

6)Finding your Elvis  – what works for you – there is no silver bullet, right or wrong , find what works on a personal level.

How to maintain the local magic, connection, closeness and community whilst also maintaining the joy of global culture?

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