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  • Writer's pictureDr Abrar Hussain

Work and mental health

In my practice, work and its role in mental health is a common point of discussion. The impact of our work environment on our well-being cannot be understated. A positive workplace that fosters support and camaraderie can greatly benefit our mental health and overall sense of fulfilment.

A good working environment acts as a sanctuary, a place where individuals feel safe, valued, and supported. When we have colleagues who are understanding and empathetic, it creates a sense of belonging and a support network that can be invaluable during challenging times. Being able to rely on our co-workers, knowing that we can seek guidance or simply share our experiences, can alleviate stress and promote a positive mindset.

Work itself plays a crucial role in our mental health. It provides us with a sense of purpose, boosting our mood and self-esteem. Having a structured routine helps us establish a rhythm, offering stability and a sense of control over our lives. The daily and weekly tasks give us a sense of achievement, reinforcing our confidence and motivation.

However, it is important to acknowledge that work can also be a source of stress. Highly demanding environments that prioritize targets over employee well-being can lead to burnout and heightened anxiety. The absence of adequate support systems can further exacerbate the negative impact on mental health. I have often seen the detrimental impact of a high stress work place on psychological well being and people feeling stuck and trapped.

In certain instances, taking time off work can be necessary and beneficial for mental health recovery. Recognizing the signs of excessive stress and burnout, and allowing oneself the opportunity to rest and recharge, is crucial. Returning to work should be approached in a phased and gradual manner, allowing time to adjust and regain your momentum at a manageable pace. In some cases, return to the same workplace is unhelpful.

Work and mental health are intricately connected, and it is essential that we prioritize creating environments that nurture well-being. Each person's experience with work and mental health is unique. It is important to seek support, have open conversations and tap into the psychological benefits of a healthy working environment and a supportive team.

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