World Mental Health Day 2017

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The HSE is marking World Mental Health Day – Tuesday 10th October, by reminding everyone of the steps we can all take to protect our own health and support the people we care about.

Observed on the same date every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising action in support of mental health, the World Health Organisation’s theme for 2017 is ‘Mental health in the workplace’. 

Reflecting this year’s international theme, the HSE is reminding people of the importance of little things when managing their own mental health and also when supporting those around them. If you struggle with your mental health, work can be a difficult place to deal with it.  Additionally, poor mental health can have an impact on your working performance, but it isn’t a reflection of how good you are as an employee.

The HSE’s #littlethings campaign focuses on sharing evidence-based, simple and powerful day-to-day steps – little things that we can do to protect our own mental health, and support the people we care about. People are encouraged to eat and sleep well, take regular exercise, talk about their problems, drink less alcohol and stay in touch and spend time with others – all proven to improve mental health.

Every single one of us goes through tough times in our lives. Information on ways to mind your mental health and to find support when you need it is available on  This website contains a range of information and practical tips on how to – reach out, listen and respond to others who are going through a difficult time. Also, the HSE mental health and wellbeing campaign #littlethings, focuses on sharing evidence-based, simple and powerful day-to-day steps.    

Encouraging everyone to embrace the #littlethings approach and endorsing this year’s international theme, HSE National Director of Mental Health Anne O’Connor today stressed that “If you are going through a tough time, colleagues might notice your poor concentration, lack of motivation, inability to meet deadlines or withdrawal from a team.  But a patient, supportive, respectful and understanding environment, will make all the difference.”

Some tips for staying well at work available on include;

  • Reclaim your lunch break –make the most of your breaks and allocate time away from your workspace.
  • Participate - Participating as part of a team can give a communal sense of achievement, especially when you complete a particular challenge.
  • Find some calmness – try and take your mind off work for a few minutes and help you unwind and refocus if you are feeling stressed.
  • Work better, not longer - Getting the right work-life balance is an effective way of avoiding stress at work.
  • Ask for help - If you feel your workload is spiralling out of control or that your work-life balance isn’t working, find an opportunity to talk with a colleague, your manager, supervisor or personnel/HR department. In advance, make some notes of how you feel and what particular aspects of your work have been causing you concern.

Adding his endorsement to the international theme, Assistant National Director, Head of National Office for Suicide Prevention, HSE Mental Health Division, Mr. John Meehan stressed the need for “honest conversations about our mental health.  We can all use a day like today to talk openly and in that expression, we can enhance our own mental health and influence those around us.  We each have different needs but through our collective endeavours we can create an environment where those needs can be identified, addressed and hopefully met.

See Change is an alliance of organisations working together through the National Stigma Reduction Partnership to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems. See Change provide a 6-step workplace programme funded by the HSE to support employers and employees in creating open workplace cultures, supporting each other and working to their full potential.

For further information on World Mental Health Day and to find out what events are taking place in your area please click here.

10th October 2017

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