October 10th marks World Mental Health Day, and this year's theme is Mental Health at Work. As if I haven't gone on about it enough, this is an aspect of mental health close to my heart.

One of the most obvious signs to me that the state of my mental health wasn't ok was that I was getting picked up on it at work. I was told I was 'miserable' and nearly lost my job because the impression I was giving off was that I didn't care; when actually, I was really struggling with a bad episode of depression. This was a while back, and if I'd have been the person I am now, I'd have told that person that they can't discriminate against me because of my mental health condition, and I'd show them how mental health should be treated at work.

Because the fundamental problem with mental health stigma, in my opinion, is that people often get the terms 'mental health' and 'mental illness' mixed up. We all have mental health, every single one of us. But the way that phrase has been confused in society for so long means that we can't talk about something so common in everyday life, with everybody else. There is not one person alive who does not have mental health. It's just the state of our mind.

I've had many experiences in various jobs where I said I felt physically ill when actually, my mental health was struggling. It's far more acceptable to talk about physical health openly than mental health - but the irony is, we actually all talk about mental health already. We just don't realise because the common definition is to talk about mental illness.

If you've ever mentioned how stressed, overloaded or burnt out you feel, you've spoken about your mental health. If you've ever talked about how proud of yourself, or how positive you feel, you've talked about your mental health. It is possible to have both good and bad mental health, the same as physical health.

Workplaces are the perfect place to tackle this issue. We spend the majority of our lives at work, so why not start addressing stigma there? More needs to be done to train managers and employees about the reality of mental health and mental illness, with a clear focus on the differences between the two. As a graduate occupational psychologist (believe me, you have NO idea how good it feels to be able to finally say that - I'm proud of myself) I've studied workplace wellbeing, and without going on about it too much, our employers need to do a lot more about promoting positive mental health and preventing negative mental health - something I'll no doubt bang on about in future blog posts... you have been warned!

For anyone struggling with mental health issues, it may seem like a huge cliche, but you're not alone. There are so many amazing resources out there like Mind, Mental Health Foundation, and plenty of disorder-specific charities like Anxiety UK, SANE, and BEAT, as well as plenty of mental health blogs out there. For employers and employees, I cannot recommend enough that you look at Time To Change and sign their Employer's pledge to end discrimination. And for those pushing through and against mental illness, remember how far you've come, and remember to give yourself some credit.

M x